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Topic: help picking books for my bookshelf

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imapugmom avatar
Subject: help picking books for my bookshelf
Date Posted: 11/11/2007 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2007
Posts: 98
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Hi. I'm fairly new to PBS and I'm fortunate enough to live near a Half Price Bookstore and a university town. I can get a wide variety of used book to put on my bookshelf.

My question is, what are some ways to find books people really want so I can get them on my bookshelf? I know there are the wishlists, but many of the books on the wishlists are so new there is no way I'm going to find them at a used bookstore. So, I guess I'm looking for a way of finding the second level of wishlist items.

Thanks in advance!


vintagejoy avatar
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Date Posted: 11/11/2007 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 7,644
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One way you could find out is to subscribe to the Daily Digest.  This is an e-mail sent to you each day which shows the books posted and wished for in the past 24 hours.  You will want to choose what genre you are looking for, i.e. Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction, Biographies, etc., or you will end up with a list that is a thousand books long.  This digest includes some of the older books people are looking for as well.  To subscribe, go to your My Account and choose Settings. You will find the Daily Digest in the yellow line at the top of that page.  Choose that and just follow the prompts.

Once you get the hang of what people are reading, you'll be better able to pick up books at your bookstore.  Remember though, that while alot of books that have just been published are pretty hot, if these books are part of a series, you may be able to find some of the older titles in the series that people may be looking for too.  Books that you are going to sit on for quite awhile are older books by authors like James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham.  There are so many of these books floating around that it will take a very long time before yours is requested. If you are not sure if there are alot of books available for one title, you can put the book on your reminder list and that will tell you how many copies are available.

You might also check the Homeschool Forum and ask for some suggestions about books they are looking for.

Hope these suggestions help!  And Welcome to PBS!

Criskat avatar
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Date Posted: 11/11/2007 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 6,447
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Trade size paperbacks seem very popular. Cozy's and series are good bets too. Anything vampire, or paranormal, time travel, ghost ect is usually snatched up pretty quickly. There is a list in the top 50 of the most requested books, whether they are WL or just FIFO books. That changes every day but it will give you an idea of what's moving. And of course if you can find any of the NYT best sellers, Oprah, or books on those lists.

There are a lot of obscure books wanted too. I know I always browse other members wishlists when I'm killing time and I've seen some very interesting books. Course it also usually increases my WL. LOL

Last Edited on: 11/11/07 6:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
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Date Posted: 11/11/2007 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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Well I just peruse the WL and go see what they have there.  At Half-price books I only buy books I'm interested in reading before I post.  I find a lot of WL books there but they aren't cheap.  Cheaper than new but not like garage sale cheap.  Do a search of your fave authors, genres, maybe some genres or authors you'd like to try and make a note of the ISBN, type of book etc.., 

Shaylinn avatar
Date Posted: 11/12/2007 2:37 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 192
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I don't know if you would ever find any at your used book store (I occassionally would but I live in a city and the store was near the college) but no Graphic Novel ever waits long on the shelf. The down side is they may be a bit more expensive than your standard paperback.

lildrafire avatar
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Date Posted: 11/12/2007 3:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
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There are rarely any Poppy Z Brite or Chuck Palahniuk books available in the system (Except for Brite's Courtney Love). 

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Date Posted: 11/12/2007 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2005
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I wouldn't advise buying books at half cover price just to post on your shelf - when you add the price of the book to the cost of postage, you would probably be better off just buying credits.  Even though that isn't nearly as much fun.  If you are going to pay good money for a book, go ahead and get the books you want to read anyway.  Then see if you can trade them away.

However, if you have any thrift stores around that sell books for 75 cents or less, that can be a good source.  As a quick rule of thumb, look for the books that are in the best condition - they are likely to be more recently published and thus in higher demand, and if they don't move here, you are much more likely to be able to trade in a book in very good condition at a used bookstore.

Pick just one genre of the wishlist (such as mysteries) and read it regularly.  Pay particular attention to titles that have 3 or more people wishing for it (with only one, you stand a good chance of the member canceling, and two is still a fair gamble).  Avoid Grisham and Clancy. 

It is hard to go wrong with mysteries and scifi/fantasy - even if they don't move here, these genres are generally quite tradable at used bookstores. 

Finally, if you like, I can send you *my* wishlist to go shopping with!  :-)


Last Edited on: 11/12/07 8:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
nashvillethecat avatar
Date Posted: 11/12/2007 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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I too frequent Half-Price books, but not so often since I joined PBS :  ).  I frequently check out the clearance section, but the book store is smart.... I have yet to see a wishlisted book on the clearance rack :  ).   The best way would be that if you have a book on your wishlist (and others were wishing too) you could buy that one and enjoy reading it and then post it.

Last Edited on: 11/12/07 8:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
biancaneve avatar
Date Posted: 11/12/2007 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/26/2007
Posts: 5,522
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In general, buy the books you want to read, read them, then post them.  However, if you're at a UBS or yard sale, look for craft books and cookbooks.  They usually go pretty quickly.

imapugmom avatar
Date Posted: 11/12/2007 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2007
Posts: 98
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I will definitely keep these in mind!


YvetteM avatar
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Date Posted: 11/14/2007 7:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2007
Posts: 167
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You might want to also check on craigslist.  I found a couple of people on there in my area that were trying to clear up space and were selling books by the box CHEAP.  Turns out by chance that 4 of the books were wishlisted and were snapped up as soon as I posted them.  To me they were obscure titles and not really my style.  You just never know what somebody is looking for................

Spuddie avatar
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Date Posted: 11/14/2007 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
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Yes, I agree--Half-price books just for books to post here would be crazy! If you have library sales, thrift stores, etc. where you can get them for fifty cents or cheaper, that's one thing...but last time I went to half-price books, a plain old cheapo paperback was coming up on $4. Cheaper to just buy a credit here to get the books you want, and that's not even thinking about the postage you'd have to buy to send the book after paying $4 for the book! (Unless it's something YOU want to read first, of course...then go for it!)

Also remember that the Wishlist is not something set in stone. People change their wishlists all the time, other copies of books get posted and the wishlist dwindles for any given book. What was popular last month might be passe this month. If i were buying books specifically to post to wishlists, i think I would make sure there were at least 10 people wishing for it before paying anything more than half a buck. I recently had my FOL sale and got quite a few books that were wishlisted--I didn't have any list to go on, just instinct as to what I thought would go well here. Several wishlisted books only had one or two people wishing for them and were declined so they sit on my shelf waiting to be noticed. LOL They will go eventually, and I have plenty of credits, so it's no big deal, but if you are specifically buying wishlisted books because your credit balance is low, make sure it's something REALLY wanted!


nashvillethecat avatar
Date Posted: 11/14/2007 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Periodically I look at the top 50 requests for the last 7 days just to get an "idea".  No, I certainly don't remember all the authors/titles but it at least does give me a chance of identifying one if I happen to run across one.  For instance, practically ANYTHING by Jodi Picault will get snapped up. 

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