10 Book Sale Shopping Tips

1. Go through your bookshelf and make notes of titles you do and do not have of books by your favourite authors or series. You might be able to find the missing titles at the sale, though don’t get your hopes up! Also, you will remember what titles you do have and that can avoid you from buying the same title again.

2. Bring a bag (and then a few more) if you plan to buy a lot. It’s lighter than the baskets or boxes they will provide you at the sale to carry the books. It’s environmentally-friendly too!

3. Book sales are best to go to when they just open. If you can go on the first day the moment it opens, that’s the best time as the few good books might just be yours for the taking! Also, it’s less crowded and makes the trip more comfortable than if you were to go during the weekend. If you’re a real bookworm, taking the day off from work can be worth it.

4. Unless you plan to go through every single title and spend the entire day at the sale so you won’t miss out, just skim and glance through the books. Most of the time you’ll find the same titles all over the place as you go along, so why waste time meticulously poring over every title? If you miss one you’ll probably chance upon it as you go along anyway.

5. If you’re considering buying a title and are in two minds about it, just chuck in the bag first. You can decide again when you’re about to pay for your books. If you place it back, you might not be able to find the book again, or someone else could’ve taken it if you went back and tried looking for it.

6. Before buying your books, sort them into categories of books you know you want, books you’re not sure if you want, and books that you know you don’t want anymore. You can discard the books from the third pile, and then decide again on the second pile based on how much you will spend on the first pile. This way, you can control your budget better.

7. If you’re the sort who has no control when buying books, it’s advisable not to take the plastic with you. Bring cash instead and that will limit your purchases with the amount of money you have. That said, don’t bring out such a huge chunk of cash just to compensate! There will always be other book sales, so no need to splurge on this like it’s the last.

8. Remember that book sales are places to go to try new books, not just hunting for titles you’ve been looking for. So be adventurous and buy books you might want to read but fear not liking it. If it’s cheap enough it won’t hurt, and it’ll widen your reading repertoire.

9. Dress lightly and comfortably, with good shoes! Book sale venues are often not customer friendly. And never go to a book sale when you’re rushing for time. Then you’ll really miss the good books for lack of time.

10. Enjoy the gems you picked up from the sale! And if you happened to be suckered into a few duds (I do that often because of the attractive covers!) well, at least you didn’t pay full price for the mistake.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lovelyloey
    Jul 16, 2009 @ 09:45:04

    Sod it, bring a foldable grocery cart to lug the books 😛
    And I’d always skip the hardcover section because they are heavy and usually more expensive. Unless there’s a title there that I can’t find in softcover version I usually won’t consider buying hardcover books.

    nylusmilk: want to bring luggage or not like that? 😆 good point, only go there if can’t find much good stuff from the paperback section.


  2. museditions
    Jul 18, 2009 @ 14:56:54

    So, you DO judge a book by its cover! (I know you have posted on that.) 🙂 These are really good tips; I appreciate them! Most of them I never thought of!!! We have a library sale 3 times a year, and I usually just drop by, any old time, and elbow people out of the way to get a look. (Never said I was polite!) But, if I follow your tips and PREPARE before I go, I think I will have a better and more successful time. Thank you!

    nylusmilk: hehe, well, since they have awards for book covers i think there must be some rationale behind it! and besides i like to look at pretty stuff. 😛 haha you sound pushy, i think i wouldn’t want to go to a sale where you’re at! :mrgreen: as for me i’m a veteran at book sales cos i never buy books at retail price (perks of working in a bookshop, muahaha!) so book sales are like my stomping ground. 😀


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