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The Ape

Library sales are probably the best bang for your book-buying buck out there, but is it really guilt-free, knowing that the writers, editors, and publishers didn't get one penny of the price?

Just something to think about...

Anne Simonot

Sadly, our library has stopped holding its annual book sale. I miss it. But I still frequent the library often, and appreciate what a great resource it is. Nice to hear of someone else who's read Rennie Airth - I loved "River of Darkness" - and have also read and enjoyed his second novel. I love mysteries & thrillers too, and thought the post-WW II setting was really well used in the first book.


A wonderful haul. And two Anne Perrys! I nabbed two of her Christmas stories from the library to read over the holidays, so I'm a happy camper too. I would only be happier if *our* library held periodic sales...

Dorothy W.

Wow -- all that for so little! That's great. Library sales really are dangerous :) There's lots there I would like to read as well, including McGahern and Styron. Roxana is lots of fun!


The Ape--Hi, thanks for your comment--yes, it is definitely something to think about! I am certainly aware of the plight of writers and other artists and know how difficult it is for them--particularly in this awful economy to make a living. There have been some really interesting discussions online on this very topic. I think people who have followed my blog for a long time will know that I spread my book buying money around. I think the vast majority of books I own are new books, though I also do buy used books on occasion and frequent the library--hopefully in my own small way I support authors here by writing about books and buying their work. That said, and I hope this doesn't sound impertinent, I don't feel especially guilty buying these books as it is a way to support my public library. The proceeds go towards buying new materials and in this awful economy they need all the help they can get as they have really felt the crunch. I don't want to see library branches close or hours be cut if it can be helped. The more used books they sell at their sale, the more books they can buy for patron use and help authors sell new books in the process--the library being able to buy more new books. The books are second hand so in their first lives they were on bookstore shelves and someone bought them--so the writer, publisher, editors, etc did get their royalty fee in that first sale. I think with most readers--certainly with me, buying a used book will often spur on a another purchase-I'll likely want to read the entire series of Anne Perry WWI mysteries and will fill out my collection, I will probably want to read more Henning Mankell and so it goes on and on. And perhaps by seeing a book here someone I don't even know somewhere will go off and buy one of these books. I know the issue of second hand books is a huge can of worms when it comes to the question of whether authors should get royalties from this second sale but I think it's a question I won't try and resolve here.
Anne Simonot--I love my library and am a very faithful patron--I'd not have access to so many great books if it weren't for them! I'm looking forward to reading Rennie Airth's newer book and will likely reread his first one--it took him so long to write another novel, but I'm happy to see a third one out as well.
Cath--I'm very lucky that my library has several sales a year. I'm always surprised that I can find so many great books every time I go.
Dorothy--I had no idea they were doing a half off sale--probably just as well. I think they've been trying to clear things out a bit. Roxana does sound like fun and I hope to read some earlier novels next year!


You topped me, and at a better price too. I got 19 books for $2 each at my library's sale. I'll be interested to see what you think of the Cynthia Harrod-Eagles mystery. I've heard good things about those, and of course I love her historical fiction.


Teresa--I think my library's prices tend to be very cheap compared to others, though they have started pricing books according to how popular it is and the condition so they get more money out of it. The CHE mystery should be interesting, though the blurb notes that she uses a lot of wordplay and I wonder if I will miss out since the pronunciation will be different. I love her historical novels, too, and really must get back to them.

Anne Simonot

There's a third Rennie Airth book? Cool - I will be looking for this at the library! :-)


Wow. Looks exciting. A lot of fabulous books. I am a great fan of William Trevor, I like the Gogol as well. Appointment in Samarra is the book one of the soldiers reads in the movie Redacted. I always wanted to have a closer look. I got one of McGaherns novels here as well and Eudora Welty is also on a pile.
I would be very curious to read. The Winter of the World. And all those mysteries... True what you said about Minette Walters. I loved the first few.


You are so lucky!! The Defoe one sounds interesting and so does "The Becket Factor" and "The Parliament House". Looking forward to your reviews.


Lots of lovely books there. I loved the Anne Perry WWI series, even though I ws completely wrong about who the Peacemaker was! Cynthis H-E's series is terrific, very funny too. Also loved Rennie Airth & I've been tempted by the Becket Factor a few times, just haven't bought it yet. Good on you for supporting your local library.


You really have to read some Vargas! :) I love her books, especially The Three Evangelists -series, but Adamsberg mysteries are great, too.



The Dark Lantern and The River of Darkness are two books I've been wanting to read for ages. You fooled me with the first photo until I saw the second;) Very nice haul!


If the library had pulped these books, then they would have gone into landfill and undoubtedly there would have been costs incurred out of library funds, i.e less to spend on new books.
By selling the books, the library raises funds to support the purchase of new books. Frankly I cannot see any problem with the library taking this course.


I wish there is such a thing as Library sale in my library. I''d love to buy all their Murakami's collection.

You got quite a collection.Darkness visible sounds really interesting.


And those books look to be in really good shape too! I love our library; not only do they have yearly book sales, they also have a permanent 'sale shelf' with donations and discontinued books for a dollar.

Happy Reading!

The Ape

Of course every buying decision leaves someone out (sometimes it's your own wallet). I only make the point because I know a couple of authors who see a used-book sale as a missed sale for them. If our reading consumption is static (that is we don't read more because of used books) then it really is money out of their pockets (and into yours and libraries', which is totally defensible).

Now, if we read more because of used books, then that's a different story, but I tend not to believe that. Or I suppose if used books are a low entry fee to an author and that causes you to buy their books new in the future, then that works too. But there's really no way to chart any of this.


What a great choice of books! William Trevor(Love and Summer)
is in my top 5 of 2010, John McGahern (Memoir)I hope to find in my Christmas stocking. I liked Thomas Cook, donot know this title but will look out for it and I am sure you will like Henning Mankell. I am sort of addicted to the (Swedish) adaptation of his books I have them all on DVD. And Anne Perry - especially the series you mention - is new to me too, so a lot of inspiration in your purchases for me today.


Wow! Christmas came early! Look at all you got and for so cheap too! What fun! I agree with you that the problems of having a book addiction is that we don't want to be cured.


I don't want to be cured of my book addiction either! Wonderful book loot and a marvellous way to support your library, too.


I adored Sophie's Choice, too. RIP William Styron.


How I miss the library sales I used to go to in Dallas. I haven't any here.

You got some great loot Danielle. I'm with you on Minette Walters. I found her earlier novels really well done but the newer ones, something is missing.

Enjoy finding space in the bookshelves for all of these :)


Hello Danielle! My name is Avis and I'm a book addict (too)! And no, I don't want to be cured either, although floor space is seriously lacking in my home at the moment. The piles are getting out of control. Thank goodness my library doesn't believe in quarterly sales! As it is, my partner is starting to despair...

Enjoy all your new books!


Anne--Yes, I am waiting until it comes out in paper to buy it. And after he waited for so long to write book two, book three came along quickly!
Caroline--How interesting about the O'Hara book--I'm always curious to hear what fictional characters like to read! I am very spoiled indeed to have such a lovely pile of books. And I am curious about this Minette Walters novel--I love her earlier books, but am willing to give this a chance despite any hesitations.
Willa--I've only read one novel by Defoe, but I want to read more, and this one does sound good. I love historical novels and mysteries, and both these authors are new to me--lucky finds!
Lyn--I hope the CHE's mystery isn't too over my head but they compare it to Elizabeth George style-wise, so maybe I will be okay. I think I need to read the first Anne Perry WWI novel--I've enjoyed her other mysteries, and have had the first book for some time now--now that I am filling out the collection. And I hope the library made good money off the sale--they were certainly packed with people!
Tiina--I'm not sure if I have any of the Evangelists series books, though I do have a few of the others.
Sakura--I had to split the books in two piles--much more manageable. :) I enjoyed The Dark Lantern when I first read it--I've forgotten all the details so I suspect it will be like reading it for the first time. Ditto for the Airth. I did come away with a very respectable pile of books.
CTussad--The library where I work pulps all the books that are weeded and it really does pain me to think they won't have a second chance at someone discovering them! Unfortunately we are a state institution and that is the rule. Some of the books may not be the prettiest, but I'm happy to discover a new author or find a book I've wanted to read. They are recycling the books and at least they'll be able to buy more materials with the proceeds.
Novroz--I think I am very lucky as it sounds as though lots of people's libraries don't do book sales. I love William Styron and have wanted to read Darkness Visible for a while. I've yet to read Murakami--I really must add him to my list!
Trish--The library sells books they've weeded from their collection (not always very pretty) but also donations they get from patrons--so some are in very good condition. My library has a bin of sale books but I've yet to find anything in it that I want. However I find plenty at the sales, so I can't complain.


The Ape--The whole book business is really very tricky and there are so many variables involved. I suspect that authors get the short end of the stick in more ways than one. It's not an easy problem to solve--I know I try and spread my book buying dollars around, but my dollars are also very limited unfortunately. When it comes to library sales I am willing to try authors I might not otherwise and if I like them I am more likely to buy more of their books. But you're right, it is impossible to track this. I suppose the solution is to simply try and buy new when possible and save the used purchases for OOP stuff. I take it you stick to new over used?
Catharina--You'll have to tell me what your top reads for this year are--I'm very curious. I wasn't familiar with this Cook title either, but I liked the sound of it. And I'm looking forward to trying the WWI mysteries by Anne Perry.
Stefanie--I suspect these are the only books I'll get this Christmas...unless I splurge a bit more on my own. :)
Litlove--I've been very bad lately and need to get back on the wagon so to speak, but this is a pretty painless way to help the library.
Nicola--I've wanted to read more of his work, but I loved Sophie's Choice so much I'm a little afraid to try more!
Iliana--I listened to one of Minette Walters more recent titles and enjoyed it more than I thought I would--there was a good reader, however. Still, her earlier work is really hard to beat.
Avisannschild--I don't really have anymore room either, so I should stop! But I can't help myself. Quarterly sales are very dangerous indeed!

Kathleen Pizzo

I am a book addict too and have no desire to be cured although I do have my "dry" times when I try not to buy anything for awhile. I love my public library's used book sales they have like this one. I never feel guilty about buying books because I am getting them at such a great price AND I am benefiting the library. It's all about charity, right? Ha!


Kathleen--I am supposed to be not buying books at the moment, but I've had a few weak moments. These were so inexpensive I almost feel more guilty at not having paid more for them rather than having bought them at all! :) I am happy, too, that the money is going to a good cause--I use the library lots so want to help support them in other ways as well.

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