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Buy Low

This evening I went to help sort books at the local library book sale. A couple of people I work with used to work there before switching to the university side; they thought I might be interested in helping. So I did.

Before you think this was pure altruism on my part, let me explain: the way they get people to help is, if you come sort, then you can look through the books and buy the ones you want before the regular sale starts. First dibs, all yours. And you know who helps sort? Bibliophiles, collectors, and book dealers. It's their natural hunting grounds. The books aren't all weeds - you know, when the public library buys ten copies of the current hot new book, then dumps nine of them after the demand for it ends. No, a lot of the books they sell are donations from the public. And when it comes to books, many people don't know what a book is worth. So that's what the book dealers do: they look for hidden gems, something they can buy for a buck and resell for twenty. Pure capitalism.

Of course, to find these hidden gems, they do have work for it. When I left, the sorting had produced, among other things, six boxes of Danielle Steele novels and almost that many James Pattersons.

But I had fun. Bought seven books, six hardbacks and a paperback for less than the cost of a new paperback, and only one of them is ex-library. Annoyingly I did have to throw away one of my purchases. Turned out what I thought was water damage was actually from a different kind of water. The cats became extremely interested in sniffing it. Yes. Gross. Ah well.