books · libraries · resources

How to Support Your Local Library and Find Book Sales

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Whenever possible, I like to marry my purchasing of new books with my support of the local community. This weekend I had an opportunity to do just that. My local library held a book sale to raise money for new acquisitions, program expansions, and building renovations. The books sold included all genres and either came from donations or were older books that no longer circulated.

Though used books can be a bit of a gamble – you never know if they are secretly missing a few pages in the middle – I love being able to help my local library by participating in these sales. Many libraries and nonprofits sell books cheaply as part of fundraising efforts, so I suggest you check out your library’s schedule and see when the next sale will be. Prices are often as cheap as $0.25 per title, and with that little money involved, the sales can be a great opportunity to explore genres that you might not otherwise read.

If you live in the US and want to track down more book sales, I suggest you visit the Book Sale Finder. It lists an assortment of upcoming book sales and provides information about the number and type of titles available. Unfortunately the website itself is not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it certainly gets the job done.

Like many of you, I have reserved a fond place in my heart for libraries; they help kids grow, provide reading materials and resources to all people, and offer spaces for community events. Unfortunately many of them are underfunded. Supporting events like library book sales is a wonderful way for me to give back to libraries and show my love of reading.

If there is a book sale near you, I recommend that you check it out! And feel free to share your tales of bringing back bags of books from sales like these. Living vicariously through other people’s book hauls is almost as exciting as experiencing them firsthand.

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16 thoughts on “How to Support Your Local Library and Find Book Sales

    1. From what I’ve heard, it is a real struggle everywhere. I’m not sure what the solution is other than highlighting how libraries help support local communities. If that is successful, then people can put pressure on governments to maintain or increase funding. Unfortunately the process is a slow one. In the meantime, I support my libraries however I can.

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  1. Ah! I just went to a library booksale a couple weekends ago! For $10 we could fill paper grocery bags till they were brimming! It was so fantastic! I also paid a little extra because I’d reserved some books earlier in the week, but I’m not disappointed about the price at all. For one, I get books that I’ve been looking for for MUCH cheaper than I’d find them in stores. And two, you might find books you’ve never heard of that get you hooked on a new author. But also three, you really are supporting the library. (Actually, I was super happy because they gave away old dictionaries for free and my dad always tells me to have one. Plus! I found a german dictionary, full size! Those things are soooo expensive. It was such a steal! ^.^) I’ve never been one for library books (I’m kind of weird) but this was a great opportunity to help a library and get some news book!

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  2. I’m so glad that you’re putting our libraries in the spotlight. They’re my favorite places to be. I volunteer every summer at my local library and bookstore, and it’s so sad to see how they’re limited in resources. But they do still get a lot of visitors! I’m so happy there are still so many library supporters out there.

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    1. Libraries really are wonderful, magical places. When I was little, my mother used to take me to our local library ever week, and I’ll always appreciate what that library did for my community. I used to work in a library, so I can’t help but continue to support them now!

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  3. I never cease to be amazed by the offerings of public libraries. Apart from really helpful personnel, a wealth of books to borrow, or buy, one can go anywhere in the country and simply hang out, get on line with a guest password, or use Wi-Fi for free. They are among my favorite destinations! Thank you for putting in a plug for public libraries. Best, Tanja

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    1. I’ve known a lot of wonderful libraries and libraries over the years, so I can’t help but give them some love.

      It’s fantastic that your library sells books in such good condition! I’ve heard that some people worry about that, but I’ve never had trouble with anything I’ve purchased from a sale.

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  4. I pride myself on the fact that my late fees (probably an annual amount of $75) gives back to the community LOL. We have a great library system in our county. As a family we spend a great deal of time at our two big branches. I do miss the bigger system of my former metropolis, Indianapolis, which has an excellent library system that I was sad to leave behind. But I actually can’t complain about the system in the suburbs. It just doesn’t have a dozen-plus branches is all.

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