Sunday, June 14, 2009

Little City Book Sale 2009

Various libraries have various used used book sales all the time - you can find one almost every weekend. None come close (in suburban Chicago) to the Book Sale Formerly Known as Brandeis. It runs for over a week in a tent, in the parking lot of Old Orchard Shopping Mall in Skokie.

My strategy is to go on the second Saturday. On that day, the books are half the listed price. The most serious of the bargain hunters will go on the second Sunday, when all of the books are 50 cents. Read as: it is a mob scene that is not worth the trouble to me.

If you went to the web site, you would see that Little City is expanding it "merchandise" to attract more buyers from the general public, rather than the dealers. The "Dealers" as I know them are people that attend the sales with scanner guns and buy big piles of books to resell on the Internet. On one hand, they bring in a lot of cash. On the other, they arrive early and take a lot of the books that I would call great finds. Some book sales just ban the scanner guns altogether.

I had lunch plans with my brother's family yesterday - Alex and I made pizza, which was pretty fun - so I didn't get to Skokie until the afternoon. There seemed to be fewer books than last year. It might be because last year I arrived earlier in the day, but I suspect it was fewer donations. The prices were also lower than I remember.

Because I was clearly not in need of any books, I used all of my tricks:

  1. No shopping carts, no baskets. Only what I can carry in my own two hands. This trick works better at this sale than most because carrying around seven books for the hour or so that it takes to browse all of the tables is tiring. Anyway, I hate the carts.
  2. No buying anything that I can be reasonable sure will show up at my own Library's Used Book Store. I would rather give the money to my own group.
  3. Wait. I didn't use my third trick, which is that I only spend what I have in cash. That usually works because I don't carry much cash, but I had been to the ATM too recently. And anyway - Little City takes Amex.

The final take was seven books for nine dollars. Now I just have to figure out where to put them.

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