“When I have a little money, I buy books…”

15th April 2013

“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”
― Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus

I only realized last week as I was scrolling through Bloglovin, that as much as I skip through posts of people showing the ARCs they get in the mail each week, I absolutely love seeing what they’ve picked up at library sales and various other used book scenarios. In fact, Heather at Between the Covers pushed me over the edge with her post about books she acquired during her library sale, and I realized I had never posted my lovelies that I picked up last month.


One Saturday morning right before Spring Break, my best friend called about a book sale. She had gone to a local event last year and been astounded at the prices – a local used bookstore hosts the book sale for scholarship funds. Hardbacks were 50 cents!!! Paperbacks were 3/$1.00. I got all of the books above for $7.00!

  • The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
  • The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
  • The Mirror Crack’d by Agatha Christie
  • They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie
  • A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie
  • A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie
  • Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie
  • Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen
  • Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Cane River by Lalita Tademy
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (bought because my dad kept asking for the sequels, and I had borrowed from a friend)
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niefenegger
  • The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
  • Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris
  • Daphne by Justine Picardie


This bunch I actually picked up at Half Price Books. There isn’t one near me, but I visited my other best friend in Dallas the week of Spring Break, and I made her promise we’d stop by. We spent a lovely two hours (thanks to her sweet husband for keeping the girls) browsing books. This is actually when I realized, too, that I needed to split up my Goodreads “to-read” shelf into fiction and non-fiction. There was entirely too much running back and forth in an attempt to locate as many of the books on my TBR as possible.

I also have to confess that this shot isn’t accurate. I actually got a couple more books and a movie, Office Space, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember which other books when I snapped this photo. The Chekhov and Cheever were just great little paperbacks. The Chekhov in particular is a lovely old paperback copy. The others, The Mysterious Benedict Society, Murder at Mansfield Park, the Betsy Tacy stories, The Girls of Murder City, The Master and Margarita, and The Moonstone are all recommendations that have come from other bloggers.

Since I also recently bought the Passing Bells trilogy by Phillip Rock and a couple of hardbacks and have received an inordinate number of ARCs because of my involvement with Bloggers Recommend (a monthly newsletter with bloggers recommending the best upcoming new releases), I am halting book buying for the next few months. But what a lovely little jaunt it’s been…

  • Nice score of Gone Girl and the Hunger Games books–I think there would be major cat fighting over those at our annual library sale (the sale where people take dollies and suitcases…not kidding). I’m so glad that you were able to hit up the flagship HPB and am not at all surprised that you spent two hours there. We’ll sometimes go on lunch break (it’s much closer to work than home) and there is NEVER enough time and running is often involved. 😉

    I skip the ARC posts as well. Maybe these are more catching because you’re likely to recognize the titles and add your own input? I loved The Professor and the Madman. Enjoy!

    • Now THAT sounds like a sale.

      I think with the ARCs, that’s part of it, but often, people get the same ones, so you’re looking at the same books over and over. Also, posts like this tell you a bit more about a person’s reading style and taste. I’m actually reading The Professor and the Madman now!

  • Ruth Anderson

    GAHHH!!!! Excuse me while I freak out but I LOVE LOVE LOVE Phillip Rock’s Passing Bells trilogy! Enjoy! 🙂

    • Um, I already DEVOURED that series. All three books in a weekend, and I want more, dammit! They were so so good.

  • I love book sale photos! They are so much fun. The Girls of Murder City is a fun book. I think I read it during a vacation a couple years ago (or last year?) because it’s that nice, light but juicy nonfiction that I just love.

    • I think you were the main one that made me want to read that! That’s why I always keep Goodreads open as I visit blogs. 🙂 And yes, that’s my favorite nonfiction. I didn’t read a ton of nonfiction before I blogged, and I’m so glad I’ve added more in. Some of my favorite books have been nonfic reads.

  • I tire of the memes but I will always stop to take a look at someone’s book haul! You did well. Very well. I don’t do well at book sales. Look at all the Christie books!

    • I know! Had they had more Christie novels, I’d have bought them. I love those vintage paperbacks. They’re just fantastic. And I read some Christie in middle school, but I’ve realized I didn’t get very far and don’t remember plenty of others. So fun to have a light read mixed in every once in a while.

  • Wow – what a great sale! I always used my GoodReads list when shopping at used bookstores, too, and had the same problem recently. I’ve also been caught in a dungeon-like basement of a used store with no data access and unable to get to my list. I’ve started keeping an “emergency” fiction and non-fiction list in my wallet…is that sad? 🙂

    • That is not sad! I used to have one too but found it was never in the right bag when I went to the library or bookstore.

  • Rayna (libereading)

    Ooh, great haul! I try to pick up an Agatha Christie or two whenever I go to a book sale, as they’re perfect for readathons and traveling.

    Glad to see you got The Moonstone — one of my favorite reads from last year!

    • I read Woman in White last year and really enjoyed it, and those who have read both seem to love The Moonstone. Can’t wait to get to it.

  • Ah, it is posts like this that make me feel certain that real paper books will never truly go extinct! You don’t get any kind of visceral joy like this from buying ebooks, and wouldn’t those be boring photos to post! 😀

    You picked up many titles that are on my list of books to read one day when I am no longer living out of a backpack!

    • So so true.

      And I’m curious, Steph – have you been reading at all on your trip? Or too busy?

      • I do read, but mostly books that I am being paid to review for BookPage. Sometimes in between those, I sneak in a trashy romance novel or something very light, but where I used to read 1 – 2 books a week, now I only get about 1 a month, 2 if it’s a very good month! I do want to get back into blogging about books over at S&TI!, but I think it will be a while before I can make that happen. I’m just way too busy these days, and keeping up with the travel blog has really become a full-time job!

  • Shannon Clark

    Wow- you got some great books. I LOVE going to heard sales and thrift stores and flea markets and….


    • Hahaha! Me too. Such fun places to be.

  • Charlie

    $7, so cheap! Can’t say I’ve ever seen hardbacks of the Hunger Games, that’s pretty awesome to have some. Love that you bought so many following blogger recommendations (even if some may not think that counts – thinking of your reader responsibility post).

    • I thought so too, and my dad finds it incomprehensible when I don’t have a certain book he wants (I don’t blame him, I think that way too).

      And heck yeah – my Goodreads is almost completely made up of blogger recommendations.

  • So many titles for so little $$, always a bonus. I enjoyed The Professor and The Madman, intriguing for those interested in the origins of words.

    • I took The Origin of the English Language many moons ago, and we had a research project about the OED. I’ve wanted to read this one for a while, so I was thrilled to find it.

  • Yay for library book sales! Our “big” library is having their sale at the end of the month, so I decided to wait and go to THEIR bag day, instead of the little one. AND my dad is driving here (all the way from NY) to go to it with me! Haha! I’m so excited.

    • Dang! That’s some serious book buying. Can’t wait to see what you come back with then.

  • Oh, I absolutely love library sales! I always come home with way too many books but I am totally fine with that!

  • Wow, you got soooo many books for so little! Lib sales are insanely amazing!

  • ooh yay! Looks like you got a really great lineup there! I look forward to reading your thoughts especially about The Girls of Murder City and the Nieffeneger, Morton, and Sedaris books. Happy reading 🙂

  • I’m just drooling over all those books you bought. Great haul!