Monday, August 10, 2009

Great Finds

Due to the fact that there are no new books being released this week that even mildly interest me I thought that I'd debut a new post entitled "Great Finds." This will be a random post for whenever I've been out battling the book buying hordes and return triumphant from the fray clutching my latest find. The thing with having a severe book buying addiction is to find ways to maximize your resources. Therefore when I buy books from the big box stores I use coupons and wait for the percent off to be great enough to justify the purchase. All other times I shop used. Shopping used is also good for me because a lot of the books I search for are out of print. But, I find, you get a greater joy shopping used, it's like a game or a hunt. Can you find a certain book, at a certain price, in a certain condition. Plus, unlike most bookstores, the inventory is constantly changing, so your chance of success is helped or hindered every week. Plus there are many people out there who will sell and get ride of something you might hold dear. While I tend to think of them as idiots for parting with something that I've been looking for, they probably think of me the same for wanting it.

The things I always look for in used books are condition and quality as well as price. The first thing is overall appearance, does it look in good condition. The second, is the binding still tight and clean, because, even cheap, you want your book to not fall apart. Thirdly, smell. Books have an odor, sometimes musty, sometimes not, but if that book has been around some weird odors it will absorb them, and you don't want the book stinking up your house. Lastly comes the price, because if it's passed all other criteria the price determines if I'll get it. On a rare occurrence price will eliminate it immediately, but, there are always exceptions.... All these reasons are why it's best to buy used books in person, because you really can't determine this over the internet, and people sometimes think you are weird asking questions about how the book smells to them.

So what do I have to crow about this week? Well...I was at Half Priced Books, and someone who was an Arthur Conan Doyle buff must be moving, or just decided they no longer wanted his books, because I got seven of the nine volume Book of the Month Club Sherlock Holmes. Gorgeous hardcovers with wonderful endpapers and fully illustrated. They also look as if they have never been opened let alone read! They were cheaper than paperback editions and I had a 15% off coupon as well. As soon as I get the final two volumes I will, for the first time in my life, have the complete Sherlock Holmes! I also found a great copy of The Bronte Myth by Lucasta Miller at Frugal Muse for only a few dollars, and to think I was going to pay full price!


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