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Topic: Speaking of the Book Bazaar....

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Subject: Speaking of the Book Bazaar....
Date Posted: 5/15/2009 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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My local FOL sale is this weekend and I was really looking forward to it. This is the one time during the year that I go out and actually look for books for PBS (and my own shelves, of course!) But I was very disappointed by what I saw this morning. I usually go all three days of the sale and can find some goodies each day, as they do replenish the sale tables as the supply dwindles. I didn't go last evening (my back was giving me fits), but was there this morning for the second day of the sale when it opened and the selection just stunk!

It looked like the shelves you see advertised on the Book Bazaar with deals here--romances, Oprah selections from 2-3 years ago, tons of John Grisham, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Patricia Cornwell, LaVyrle Spencer, Sandra Brown, and about 20 copies of The DaVinci Code. Usually I come home with a bag of wishlisted books and plenty of others with a few copies in the system to beef up my shelf as well as quite a few for my own TBR stacks. I usually limit myself to $40 for all 3 days of the sale, and struggle to keep myself in line. Today I had to work to spend the $10 I spent. I think I posted 5 books that were wishlisted, put 4 on my TBR stack and the rest are on my shelf, but there weren't many. I'll probably go back tomorrow for their $3 a bag sale, but I hope I find a few gems that were hidden away, otherwise my bag is going to be half empty. LOL

I wonder if this is also a reflection on the economy--maybe more people are trading their books in at used book shops rather than donating them, or maybe just buying less books in general? Maybe the library is even more reluctant to withdraw books to sell, I don't know.


Date Posted: 5/15/2009 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 2/8/15 11:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/15/2009 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 8/24/2005
Posts: 504
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I've been woefully disappointed in the quality and quantity of books in the local friends of library sales this year. I usually go to the nearest one on the last day, when I can get a bag full for $5 and leave with at least 8 bags. This year I couldn't fill the 4th one.

I've checked out the sales for libraries further away in the county and I've found a few things but nothing at all like I'm used to. I look at Booksale Finder every week but it doesn't seem worth the effort to drive any distance to sales until the economy picks up.

Likewise, the used bookstores I like have much less in the way of current (and wishlisted) books so I'm not going there as much either.

Date Posted: 5/16/2009 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 613
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I don't know that fewer books are being donated but the books are being picked over by people with handheld scanners at the beginning of the sale.  I also went to a lot of sales' second day, but recently had the chance to go at the beginning of one.  The place was packed with scanners and people just shoving loads of books into boxes or being rude and not allowing anyone to see a table until they had checked it all out.  I had one man spread his arms and lean over the selection of books on CDs while he sorted through them!  Needless to say, by the time I got to look at the remains, they were very picked over.  I assume these are buyers for UBSs or online stores.  Why else would you need to find quantities of books that can be sold for prices above the FOL price?  At one really large local FOL sale, we asked if the library would consider allowing the FOL members to have an evening to shop before they allowed in the scanners.  The reply was that most of their sales are now to these scanner people and they wouldn't want us to pick out all the books that cause the scanners to buy from them.  So now it is all the leftover Grishams, etc and I no longer go or renew my membership.  Not worth it.

Date Posted: 5/16/2009 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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I think the economy could be driving people to share instead of donating for sales.   I have a friend who used to order a million magazines.  She stopped and wants all my leftovers even if I have ripped something out of them.  When I told someone I was reading a popular author, she brought me 4 of his books to read (plopped them through my car window as I was picking my son up from practice).   She said it was silly to buy them when she had them.  I just have to give them back because her family shares books.  No problem.

About those popular authors -- I do think in times of stress, people do gravitate to what's comfortable and familiar.    I was in a small book store the other day, I picked up the Potato Peel Society book. With a cost of $14.00 and a TBR pile that has books I know I will like because I  know the authors, I just couldn't pull the trigger.  Back on the shelf it went.  Its got good reviews, is in high demand here, but I haven't felt like experimenting at full price and I know I am stressed.  I got three busy kids that put me over the edge.   One is a teenager - need I say more.

I have the Grave Yard book by Neil Gaimon on my TBR list.  My friend was reading it.  I asked her if I could borrow it.  In the past I would have bought my own.  But, I am not sure I am going to like it, so it was easier and cheaper to borrow hers.

Note:  The person that gave me the 4 books well, they are part of a series.  I need book 2 and 3 before I can read hers.  She tells me it doesn't matter in which order you read them.  Bite your tongue!

Last Edited on: 5/16/09 7:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/17/2009 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Well our local library had it's big FOL sale in Feb and I found quite a lot of WL books. I resisted the urge to buy more than I did because they wanted $3 for hardbacks.  I left a lot of hardback WL books there because it just wan't economical to me to buy them just to post. But then their are no UBS stores around here really.  There's 2 but they charge really high prices and the stores are very disorganized. I noticed one is now out of business and the other is 45min away.  So my thinkin is that  many books were donated because there wasn't much else to do with them here. 

My guess is what's happening in your areas is a combination of things.  People use the internet more and so more people are buying ebooks, downloading audiobooks, selling books on ebay or joining sites like PBS and Bookmooch.  Also with the economy being down I imagine libraries are afraid to pull books out of circulation becasue they know they may not being getting as many new books for awhile.  Then of course people are buying fewer books new which also cuts down on the books available to be donated. 

I haven't donated books anywhere since I joined PBS and Bookmooch.  I haven't had trouble moving my books on either site-even the very common heavily posted ones. 

Date Posted: 5/17/2009 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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I ended up not going back on Saturday after all and decided to let sleeping dogs lie. I've had really good luck getting lots of wishlisted books there up until this time--even after they're "picked over" because they have boxes of donated books that they replenish the supply with. I've never seen people with scanners and such there at our FOL sale, Linda, even when I'm there on the first evening waiting in line for it to start. This is just a smallish suburban library we're talking about, so I can 't imagine it would attract a whole lot of people other than the usual library patrons.

Anyway, as is usual, I've already sent a few of the books I picked up, and there's still a couple left cycling through the wishlist. They'll get accepted eventually. It's all good, I guess. :)



Date Posted: 5/17/2009 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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I haven't donated since joining PBS as well.  I used to give my books to the Elementary School teachers lounge.  I feel bad because they used to get so excited because I had the latest and greatest books.   They must be wondering where their monthly drop off has gone the past few months.  Thinking back at how many would have flown of my shelf makes me groan.  I would have been in credit heaven. 

I no longer buy the latest and greatest because I am here looking at different authors and their older works.  I am guilty of not putting anything current into circulation with the exception of my mother's favorite genre - biographies.

Last Edited on: 5/17/09 7:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1