I gotta say, there's only thing I like better than seeing a book I've been waiting and waiting for come out brand new on a cart, and that's seeing a used cart roll up to the desk with one of my old favorites, in great condition and at a ridiculously low price. Lo and behold, we just got a sweet cart of used books up here and I thought I'd run through my favorite of the treasures to be found on just one measly little rolling shelf full of little yellow stickers. All the links are to new copies, by the way, as the used listings will disappear once they sell.
1) Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow. If you haven't read this yet, how have you managed to miss it? We practically hand this book out to people when they pass by the desk. I certainly never stop talking about Cory Doctorow and it's because of this book. Now, to be sure, I have met one person, ever, who didn't like it. But that was just one person out of the dozens I know who adored it. And here it is next to me, for only $4.99. For five bucks you can take a chance, no? Oh my word. Now I've just checked in the front and discovered that it's signed. The price? Still five bucks. I would be buying it myself if I didn't already have one.
2) Saving Francesca, by Melina Marchetta. Marchetta is really really famous in her native Australia, but up here I still meet people all the time who've never heard of her. She has won the most prestigious (well, pretty much only) award for young adult fiction, the Printz, for another novel, and I think everything she touches is gold. A coworker just made me re-read this one, which was one of the first young adult novels I read when I started working here. And I remember thinking, "This is going to be my job? I just read this really charming book, and now I get to tell other people to read it, as a job? There has got to be a trick." (There is. It's called shelving.) The used book I have right now is the hardcover, which has a different cover from the paperback, and is still cheaper than the new paperback at $6.99. DEAL.
3) The Bermudez Triangle, by Maureen Johnson. I just want to take this moment to direct you to Maureen Johnson's consistently hilarious and awesome blog. Now, as far as the book goes, this is one of my favorites of hers. You know how sometimes your friend falls in love, and then they get all lovey and smoochy and annoying? In Bermudez Triangle, her two best friends fall in love with each other. Double burn. This one gets banned and challenged all the time because those two friends are girls, so there's another great reason to buy it: make the book banners angry. Also, it's only five bucks, like the Doctorow. That's like twelve birds with one stone or something.
4) Last but certainly not least is a darling little thing for $1.99. Only one of the best children's poetry volumes ever (second only to its sister, When We Were Very Young), Now We Are Six, by A. A. Milne contains a bunch of lovely verse. I do love the other one best, but this one has "King John's Christmas," which holds a warm and lovely childhood memory for me that I won't share because I could go on at great length (and I have clearly already done that today). Plus this old cover is more adorable than the new one.
I'll leave you now, but just know that we get cartloads of used books in every week, and there are wacky and wonderful old titles we've never heard of, and brand new only-in-hardcover bestsellers, and everything in between. I could not possibly dig used books any more.
Anna, in Kids