The annual summer book sale has begun. Regular shoppers at University Book Store will be met by the full tables in the lobby and, presumably, rejoice. In addition to discounted titles from our regular inventory and Bargain Books, the discerning book buyer will also notice a large number of discounted Used Books. Just a word about those Used Books...
Buying used books is not unlike running an animal rescue shelter. There are always new homes available for the most popular, owner-friendly sorts—all glossy and familiar, recognizably "just right" for the kids or dear old Aunt Ruth. But what makes used book buying interesting are the exotics, the mutts and the crossbreeds, the very rare birds and the one of a kind. It is for love of these that buyers enthusiastically return each day to the desk. And for these, there is not always an owner... immediately.
An old fashioned used books dealer, sitting in his own dusty little shop, can display his quirkier purchases proudly for years, secure in the knowledge that, sooner or later, the right reader will happen in, and willingly pay the price asked to complete his collection of books about—19th Century ichthyology? patterns of Chinese migration? the aesthetics of truck mudflaps?
For those of us working in, shall we say, a more commercial environment—where new books come in constantly and where used books are only one part of our huge inventory—patience has its limits.
And so comes the Summer Book Sale. So if your interest in used books tends to the more interesting, less common kind of book, now is your moment! Lost treasures and rare pleasures await you, in great heaps of hardcover and soft! Move quickly, or that one other person in the world with your exact interests will be taking home your perfect pet book.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
tell all your friends!