Friday, May 20, 2011

Bookstock or Booktopia? You decide.

There's this huge book sale going on at a mall by my house. Like, huge. It's called Bookstock and was one of the best parts about coming home this week. I didn't even know it was happening until I went to meet some friends for lunch and found myself surrounded by books! Needless to say I was crazy excited, and came back the next day to browse to my hearts content! 
If I had a camera I would have taken this picture but I didn't. The internet is a wonderful place. 

I ended up with 7 books (2 new hardbacks) for $16 (and then I got some cookbooks, but this isn't that kind of blog).  I'm quite proud of my findings, not just because I got a great collection of books for dirty cheep prices but because I've overcome the part of me that looks down on used books. I use to have a very hard time picking up a book if it had been read by anyone else. I guess I felt like it had already shared it's story with someone and I was getting some sad hand-me-down. Plus I like to underline in my books and would get very frustrated if I had to find a way to distinguish between my notes and some anonymous other persons.  I thought these signs of other people made the books dirty somehow. Maybe they wouldn't handle all of those page turns?  
Of course this wasn't great logic. True sometimes other people's writing is irritating - for instance I have a copy of 1984 that doesn't have a single clean margin and is filled with things like "Winston said this" and "Julia felt that" which isn't insightful and made that copy impossible to read - but there are many cases where there are just cute little notes or resonating phrases underlined, and that's fine. It's gives the book character, just like slightly loose pages and those coffee stains. Half.com is now my friend, and garage sales have hidden gems.  Of course I'd still prefer a pristine new copy straight off Barnes and Nobles shelves, but now that isn't my only option

What about you? Do you have any prejudices against used books? Is there anything that's an absolute deal breaker when you're buying something pre-owned? I'd love to hear what you think! 

In case you're interested here are the books I got!
Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer (a replacement for my missing copy.)
The Magicians - Lev Grossman
The World to Come - Dara Horn
This is Where I Leave You -  Jonathan Tropper

3 comments:

Kritter said...

I am a big fan of the used books - especially when found at a bargain!!

Leela said...

I totally agree with you. I like seeing some coffee stains in books. At first, I didn't like the idea of second-hand books, I wanted to have new ones, but, later, when I discovered markets and book fairies and I saw books, although second-hand books in such a good condition and a very good price I could help buying them :)

Heather said...

I have no prejudice against used books, but my partner has OCD and will not let me bring used or library books to bed. She is grossed out by not knowing whose hands were touching the book, or how clean they may have been.

You got some great books! I'm looking for a few of those titles myself, but haven't found anyone swapping them yet.