Student Snippets

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Books I Can Afford

Alright, friends, today I want to talk about the magic that is library book sales.

Yes, you read that right. You can actually buy books from a place where you usually have to give the books back.

Now, I feel sure that most people in the "book business" have adequate knowledge of used book stores (something that I'm still lacking in the Boston area--let me know if you have any suggestions please!!!), but for some reason, I feel like library book sales go largely under the radar. It doesn't make much sense to me. If SLIS students are looking to work at libraries, we should be the most aware of the benefits libraries offer, but for some reason I've heard more people talking about Barnes & Nobles and Amazon than the glory of library book sales.

Library book sales mean cheap books. Sure, they're used. Occasionally, the condition isn't great. But usually the Friends of the Library, the wonderful group of people who host this event, make sure books are in good condition--but good condition for what price they're selling them. Most books at library book sales are less than $1.00!!! That's hardcovers, paperbacks, children's books, cooking books, you name it, library book sales will have some variation of it.

This last weekend, the Swampscott Public Library (which is my own personal haunt) held a book sale. I managed to get 15 books for $6.00. Half of those were class books which I didn't want to buy full price, but did want to have on hand (since I'm in the Children's Literature program, they usually suggest just borrowing texts from the library because otherwise it would be unbelievably expensive). I also got Julia Child's The Art of French Cooking Vol. 2 for $1.00. One dollar!!!

The only caution I give new book sales attendees is to not go wild. I mean, if you see books which you've wanted forever--go for it! Buy the book for $0.50! But trust me when I say, eight years later, when you still haven't read the entire published works of Kathy Reichs, you're going to regret having to put all those books in the garage sale (and then to Goodwill) when you move across the country. Sure, tastes change, but you might not want to buy every book an author has ever written if you've never read that author's works before.

Lucky for all you local readers, the Boston Public Library has its book sale coming up on October 4th--next Saturday. Put it in your calendars! You don't want to miss it!

The other benefit of book sales besides cheap, cheap books? You get to support the Friends of the Library. These are the people who get passes for local museums, volunteer at library events, and perform general library-based do-goodery. Check out the BPL Book Sale next Saturday, or see when the nearest one occurs at your own library! You never know what treasures you might find!

All the Best - Hayley

Libraries