“Where is human nature so weak as in the book store?”

Posted April 11, 2013 by Heather in Miscellaneous / 27 Comments

Library book sale! Library book sale!

Today was the first day of my local library’s biannual book sale. I have two local libraries, actually, but this book sale that runs today through Saturday is for my LOCAL local library in Hollidaysburg (the one about two miles from my house). It’s a tiny library (but they have plans to move to a new location and build a bigger library, starting at the end of the year if all goes well) so this book sale isn’t nearly as big as the one for the Altoona library, but I still managed to buy 14 good books for $14. Today through tomorrow at 5pm, hardcovers and trade paperbacks are $1 per book, and mass market paperbacks are 50 cents. After 5pm tomorrow, BAG DAY starts. I’m planning on going back either tomorrow night or sometime Saturday to see what’s left and maybe fill up a bag. I just realized a few minutes ago that I passed over a book I have on my wish list, so I’m hoping it’s still there when I go back (Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky).

Here are the books I bought today:

From top left to bottom right: Plainsong by Kent Haruf, Empire Falls by Richard Russo, Atonement by Ian McEwan, Homeland and Other Stories by Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.

All of these were on my “to-read-do-not-own” shelf on Goodreads aside from The Bean Trees and Homeland, so I was very happy to find them. I read The Bean Trees when I was a teenager, but I remember nothing about it and I didn’t own it. I had never heard of Homeland (I don’t think), but Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors, so buying that one was a no-brainer.

From left to right: The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Importance of Being Earnest and Four Other Plays by Oscar Wilde, and The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi.

The book sale’s stock of classic books was pretty much non-existent, but I’ve been meaning to read The Social Contract for some time now. I don’t think I knew about The Drowned and the Saved before I found it today, but it sounds very good.

From left to right: Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

I read Eco’s The Name of the Rose last year and wasn’t all that impressed, but I’m willing to give him another chance. Some people whose reading tastes I share have assured me Foucault’s Pendulum is a very good book, and I was excited to pay only a dollar for a hardcover edition in good condition.

Wench is a book that I saw some Twitter buddies talking about a month or so ago, and they were raving about it; it was an insta-grab when I found it today. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Lots of bloggers have been reading and reviewing the books in Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books series recently, and all the good reviews have me intrigued. What a nice surprise to find the first book in the series at the book sale today. Score!

From left to right: The Regulators by Richard Bachman (Stephen King), and Gerald’s Game by Stephen King.

Last but certainly not least, I was quite happy to find these two hardcover editions and pay only a dollar for each of them. As most of you know, sj and I are working our way through all of Stephen King’s books in order of publication, so it will be nice to have these already on hand when we get to them. And I love the cover of The Regulators for some reason. There were quite a few mass market paperback editions of his books at the sale, but I’m not really a fan of the small size of those. If they are still there when I go back for bag day, I’ll probably grab them anyway.

Not a bad haul for a book sale that takes up about twenty tables (that are nowhere near full) in one small room; I was actually pretty impressed with the book selection. And as always, the money is going to a good cause. Regardless of what certain authors think, libraries are still an important part of our communities and I’m happy to give them some of my spending money.

Side note: This is what happens when I sit down to blog and Rascal decides that he wants attention. “NO BLOGGING ALLOWED UNTIL I GET ALL THE RUBS.”

(Post title quote: Henry Ward Beecher)


  • So many good books! I’m anxious to hear what you think of Plainsong!

    • I just told someone else on Twitter that I think I’m going to bump Plainsong up on my reading list so I can read it soon.

      • Did you read it yet?? I read it ages ago, but I remember liking it a lot. . but never picked up any of the other Kent Haruf books yet.

        • I haven’t read it yet–probably in June.

  • I think your cat and my cat have been talking.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m sure there is an underground network.


    I love photos of things found at a., book sales, and b., junk stores. It’s one of my weaknesses.

    I’m so excited you love Kingsolver, too! I have her “Bean Trees” and “Pigs in Heaven” (the sequel) and they’re two of my favorite books. She’s wonderful.

    And I totally squeed when I saw the hardcover King books. A fun story you will appreciate: about 6 or 7 years ago, one of my coworkers’ parents died (not the fun part, of course) and she was cleaning out the house. She had a huge box of books, and asked if I wanted them. I figured, even if I didn’t, I could donate them to my theater (we have an ongoing book sale) or my library (also has an ongoing book sale.) Opened the (HUGE) box? All hardcover King books. Apparently the parent had been a member of the Stephen King book club. All in almost brand-new condition. I had to sit to regain my composure. It was kind of the coolest thing ever.

    Also, aw, hi, Rascal! You are the most adorable with the best markings!

    • My two favorite Kingsolvers are The Lacuna and The Poisonwood Bible. I’m looking forward to re-reading The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven now that so much time has gone by.

      That is SO AWESOME about the Stephen King books. I probably would have run around waving my arms in the air and yelling. Haha!

      Rascal says thank you! One of my Twitter friends calls him “Bat Cat” because he looks like he’s wearing a Batman mask. Hee!

  • So many reading challenges on your sidebar. It makes me smiley. 🙂

    Soooo I love library book sales, and thrift stores with books, and pretty much anywhere I can get books for a decent price. It looks like you made off with an excellent haul.

    I haven’t read any Barbara Kingsolver yet, and her name keeps coming up. I should add some of her books to my to-be-read list.

  • Nice haul!! 🙂

  • Great books, girl! I own all but one in that first pic and the Stephen King books, of course (I think I have The Regulators). Foucault’s Pendulum is excellent. I read it for my Continental Lit class when I was still in college. I also have Shadow of the Wind. Really need to read that one. I do want to get Wench too. The Importance of Being Earnest is dear to my heart because I was in the play in high school (I was Gwendolyn 🙂 ). Library sales rock, don’t they!? Can’t wait to go to mine this weekend.

    Let me know when you and SJ read Gerald’s Game. I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time. My mom says it’s a really good one.

    Rascal is a doll. 🙂

  • sj

    Heh, I used to have that exact copy of Gerald’s Game! I bought it in the Spokane airport when it had just come out while I was waiting for my dad’s delayed flight to land!

  • The Shadow of the wind is really a good book! I have Foucalt’s Pendulum and Atonement on my TBR list. Enjoy the reading.

  • therelentlessreader

    Ohhh yes! Library book sales are the BEST!

  • jenn aka the picky girl

    Hahaha! I love your enthusiasm for BAG DAY! 🙂

    And heck yeah, I love book sales. You’ve reminded me I need to post my acquisitions from book sales.

  • A great buy, Heather.

  • Some lucky finds here. Atonement is fabulous. Also enjoyed Shadow of the Wind. King solver though does nothing for me

  • Looks like you got some great ones–I love buying used books! You remind me that I really need to get to Kingsolver’s backlist one of these days. There are several I still haven’t read (including these two).

  • Great loot! I always bring a box to the library sales and end up going back to my car to dump out box #1 and returning for box #2. I also have Empire Falls and Atonement from library sales!

  • litandlife

    I loved “Plainsong” and several others you picked up – great haul! My library quite having the quarterly sales and now just opens once a week for a couple of hours. I’m hard pressed not to spend too much money there but since I can go back every week, I really need to watch myself.

  • I love/hate library book sales. Luckily/unluckily our library doesn’t have the big one it used to have, but it does have a bookstore now with used books throughout the year. A blessing/a curse…out of your stash, the one that intrigues me is The Shadow of the Wind. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.

  • I love library sales. My books are taking over the house, so I’ve decided to try and ignore any sales for now. Wench is a heart-wrenching book at times. There are certain passages/images that have stayed with me long after I’ve read it. Happy reading!

  • Ours is coming up next month and I might miss it because I’ll have family in town. I’m trying to sort out a way to get them to the sale so I can get my fix. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about Foucault’s Pendulum. I tried to read it in HS but clearly wasn’t ready for it so donated it to a library book sale. I’ve been thinking I should revisit it at some point.

  • I looooove lib sales!! As I was reading your post, I kept thinking, she barely bought any, and then I’d scroll down to the next group of pictures! 🙂

  • I’m pretty sure I’ve picked up all of the books you have in the first picture at library sales. Ha! The past couple of years that I’ve gone to mine I’ve been able to exhibit excellent self control. I think mostly because I realize my rate of reading is turtle pace and I can’t even read the books I DO own.

    Love Rascal! Reminds me of my Maggie…

  • Just thinking about Gerald’s Game makes me shiver. It has one of the creepiest scenes I’ve ever read!

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