Book Sales & Crumbling Paperbacks

My new book bag.

Every year we go to the Planned Parenthood Book Sale.

The books had been plundered and pillaged by the time we got there on the second night.  The  classics were down to a few Dickens and Brontes.  This is a slight exaggeration.

I had a sinking feeling I’d gone to the sale too many times.  We filled a book bag instead of a box.  I’m happy to have bought fewer books, though, because I have FINALLY shelved all my books and don’t want clutter.  But why go if there is nothing unusual?  I found a few in the trade paperback section.  I haven’t read this novel by Julia Glass, who won the National Book Award in 2002 for Three Junes.  And who doesn’t like David Lodge’s satires?

But, really, we have to find more book sales in the midwest.  Where have all the good books gone?


Some of my  paperbacks have fallen apart.  Not surprisingly, my Washington Square paperback of Jane Eyre (the first I had) is no longer readable.

Traditionally I’ve been a paperback person, but in 2017 I got hooked on Folio Society books.  A group of friends and I purchased some FS books for a round robin.  We were co-owners and traded them back and forth.

We logged our reading time.  No reason.

My friend’s daughter, who had just gotten out of rehab,  kept a journal because she was supposed to try to change her behavior.  And she said she read enough to cut  half an hour to forty-five minutes from her phone time. Pretty good for anyone!

The Folio Society books were overall a good influence. Who needs to read the latest Booker Prize winner when we’re busy with the FS edition of Jude the Obscure?   My discovery?  I started rereading the classics because the books were so attractive.. I especially recommend the beautiful edition of Wuthering Heights, with an introduction by Patti Smith and illustrations by Rovina Cai.

A Penguin Hardcover Classic of “Bleak House” and coffee.

The FS books will last, but I’ve been musing:  how long will my other hardbacks?  Will my cute affordable Penguin hardback classics last for 50 years?  I am a fan of Coralie Bickford’s  cover designs, especially the birdcages on the cover of Bleak House (think of Miss Flite). And these  books are good value:  usually under $20.  The print is a nice size and the paper is sturdy.

But perhaps we are not meant to sit in bed and hold Bleak House in one hand while we slurp coffee.  The cover of Bleak House took a beating!  And, oops, a coffee stain on one of the pages.

Has anyone bought Knickerbocker flexibound classics?  They’re on sale at Barnes and Noble for $10.  They look very cute, with a flexible cover and a strap that closes it like  a Moleskine notebook.  I have read most of the titles, though.

I buy strictly reading copies. (Well, except for the FS splurge.)   Should we buy paperbacks or hardbacks for replacements?  Or do you buy first editions?

8 thoughts on “Book Sales & Crumbling Paperbacks”

  1. I think buying first editions of books by Dickens or the Brontes would be a solution to your shelving problems.

    1. The minimalist look! One per bookcase. Or one in the house? I was thinking more of 20th-century books which are often cheap.

  2. I love used book sales. In the past I have bought what I wanted to read regardless of edition. Now I generally read a lot of ebooks. I am thinking of starting a collection of Folio Society and similar quality books. I will probably use them for rereads. I am generally a clutzy person so I also must watch for things like coffee stains.

    1. I keep my coffee in another room when I’m reading a Folio Society book! Some of them are very nice, some are bulky, but they turn up at used bookstores, too. I must find another book sale this year.

  3. We need more book sales because book sales are fun. Some women love to shop for clothes, not because they need more clothes but because looking at and for about about clothes is what they enjoy. So with books! I enjoy the experience of being in a place with lots of books — and all at a good price too.

    1. I feel that way, too. I”ve always enjoyed library sales. If only I enjoyed shopping for clothes! My mom loved it and used to send me care boxes.

  4. Book shopping is the only shopping I enjoy. I like the looks of your small but quality haul. 🙂

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