Rocking The Library Book Sale: Tips From The Master

I thought it might be time to share the secrets of maximum library sale haulage with teh interwebz. It seems every other week I have a massive haul of books In My Mailbox, this is due to living in close proximity to at least 10 libraries, although I typically hit up my hometown book sales (45 miles away) the most.

Here’s what you can do to score big time:
First you need to find out if there is a book sale going on at your local library. I typically find out by stalking the library website. However, checking the library bulletin board works as well. I recommend scouring your newspaper. Yes, it still has a use, the classifieds are amazing mines of information. Just this past week by reading the newspaper every day, I have discovered a massive used book sale on Saturday (to benefit Newspapers In The Classroom). Finally, there’s this website called I haven’t had much luck with it, but I know of others who have.
Once you have found information for the sale, Save The Date! God forbid you forget and accidentally sleep in on library book sale day.
On the Day Of The Sale:
  • Arrive early. If you get there too lately, the books will already have been picked over and you won’t get first dibs.
  • Pack cash. Most of the sales I have been to only accept cash. I typically bring $40 with me, however, it may vary for you.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Although you can take someone out with the spike of a high heel, it’s not very conducive to carrying around books.
At The Sale:
  • Bring a partner. Preferably someone who likes books just as much as you do, or a very close friend/family member/partner, someone who won’t complain at you spending FOREVER browsing books. A partner can help you find books, as they provide an extra set of eyes. Bonus if the person is physically stronger than you.
  • Look through everything. I’ve often found gems hidden among the romance books, by browsing past the Danielle Steeles, I have uncovered a Lois Lowry. (This is not meant to knock romance novels, I just tend to look for other genres at library book sales)
  • Leave good karma. I tend to give a little extra money than what they charge me, because I know it benefits the library. I think this has gone a long way for me, because as you all consistently see, I have great karma at library book sales.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. All I can say is WOW.

  2. These are great tips! Now I have some time to come up with a plan for my libraries upcoming book sale!

  3. I wish there were library sales in my town! Actually, I just wish there were decent libraries, period 😛 These sound like excellent tips.

  4. Aww I like your last tip. It all comes back in the end. Also good idea taking a physically strong lackey with you 😉

  5. Love this post. It made me laugh a little, and I definitely got a sense of how well-honed your library sale skills are. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to work that way in the UK – my local library usually just has one sale shelf at all times and if you get lucky, you get lucky. I think I'd prefer the US way.

  6. StephTheBookworm says

    LOL – love this post. The library sales are the best. They are my favorite days of the year. The night before are like Christmas eve to me. I wake up early in the morning and drag my mom with me. 🙂

  7. What a great post. Thanks for all of the good tips. And the link actually helped me uncover two library sales in my area tomorrow (uh oh)!

  8. This is perfect timing, as I'm taking the kids to our first ever library sale. I plan to be there when the sale opens at 10 AM, cash in hand. I'll be sure to wear my tennis shoes and leave a tip to generate my own karma!

  9. alipasta says

    So I'm pretty sure you and I are both going to be busy buying books together on July 17th, 2010. Actually we might be busy buying books on July 16th, 2010 too but July 17th is more important because that's when the box/bag of books sale is. You know what I'm talking about! Feel free to fill me in on some other book sales too because well you know how much I love to buy books especially with you.. 😉

  10. Alexia561 says

    Great tips! I usually don't have much luck at library sales, as I get annoyed with the crowds. Like your idea of bringing someone with me….maybe I could use them as a bodyguard? *L*

  11. Ha! I’m lovin’ it! Great topic! I saw a small bookshelf of books for sale at my local library last week and I didn’t have time to stop. They usually have it every week though, so I am going to stop by. Buy some books and drop off some karma. You obviously spread the goodness around, looks like good karma’s been following you around lately.

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