Guest Author - Kim Lynch
Long before Amazon.com, eBay or Half.com used books were a highly sought after commodity. In their never ending quest for new, old books, Bibliophiles searched through bins in thrift shops, prowled the dark corners of used book stores and waited patiently in line at second-hand book sales.
Then the internet was born and the first edition that had eluded capture for years was now available with a click of a mouse. The hard to find hardcover or the best seller that was not within your budget were often readily available by the dozen online. Purchasing a book via the web made the process quick, easy and economical, although sometimes it was also disappointing.
Online condition is in the eye of the beholder, aka seller. An inexperienced or deceptive seller might assign a description of excellent to a water stained, warped, cover-less book that would be considered less than poor by many buyers. For readers this is often just an inconvenience, for collects it's a travesty.
Nothing compares to being able to examine a book in person and bargains are still available in the real world if you know where to look. BookSaleFinder.com will point you in the right direction. The site was founded by Helen and Tom Oram in 1997 and lists over 6,000 book sales a year.
Book sales are sponsored by many non-profit organizations including libraries, schools, and The American Association of University Women. Many of the books are donated and in the case of libraries those donations are often combined with books that are being discarded from the libraries' inventory to make room for newer editions or more relevant materials.
Find sales in your area by clicking on your state. A list for the current months sales will appear at the top organized by date. Click on the location to view the sale details; address, days & times, prices, the percentage of donated books and types of materials available, i.e hardcover, softcover, magazines, DVDs, CDs, etc.
Below the initial list are categories for used books stores and ongoing sales. Scroll down a little further to view future sales. One of the great things about BookSaleFinder.com is it gives you the ability to plan ahead. Not every book sale for your state will be listed.
If you've never been to a book sale before arrive prepared. Wear flat shoes, bring a tote to carry your finds, arrive early and be prepared for a big crowd peppered with online sellers who will show no mercy in their quest to beat you to the "best" books.