Monday, March 13, 2023

The 2023 Friends of the Library Book Sale

On February 24, I attended the Friends of the Library Book Sale.  While I did purchase some vintage series books, the sale did not have a very good overall selection of them.  This is partly because of the aftermath of the pandemic.  The sale isn't quite back to normal, although it is getting there.  That aside, the older books continue to become more scarce and show up less often as the years pass.

The Oklahoma City Fire Marshal has cracked down on businesses and is strictly enforcing the fire code.  Years ago, the library book sale let everyone in the door regardless of how many people were present.  It was too crowded.  

This year they enforced the capacity limit, and people had to remain in line until the crowd inside thinned out.  I heard that on the second day of the sale that the wait time at one point was 1 hour and 15 minutes to get inside, and that was after the sale had already been open for a couple of hours.  I was at the sale on the first day and was third in line, so the capacity limit did not impact me.  

What is really nice about the fire code being strictly enforced is that the sale is now required to have eight feet of space in between the lines of tables.  Years ago the tables were only around four feet apart, which left very little room.

Due to rising costs, the book sale raised prices this year.  In the general section, hardcover books went up from $1.00 each to $2.00 each.  Softcover books went up from $0.50 each to $1.00 each.  This forced me to avoid purchasing any softcover books that were in rough shape. Normally, I would have purchased those as well, but I felt that $1.00 each was too much to pay for examples in poor condition.  I did see other people grab them, however.  

The first photo shows all of the vintage series books that I found at the sale.  The selection wasn't good, even though I did find some worthwhile books.  

Click or tap on images in order to see them at a higher resolution.

The Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton books with dust jackets are from the 1940s and have pulp paper.  I'm not too enthusiastic about that era due to the continuing deterioration in condition, but still, it was nice finding some books in dust jacket.  I haven't found many books in dust jackets in recent years.  They show up infrequently.

For at least five years, my greatest interest has been in looking at the vintage teen books.  I find a better selection on those tables than I do for the vintage series books.  The heyday of the vintage series books at the library book sale has passed.  For me, the sale is more about the vintage teen books, especially since this sale is just about the only place where I can ever find vintage teen books in the wild.  Bookstores don't have them.

I spent around 2 hours in the general section going back and forth at least eight times in the vintage paperbacks section.  Half of the books were on top of the tables on an area about 3 feet wide by 15 to 20 feet long.  This photo is of some of the books on top of the tables.

The other half of the books were on the floor under the tables.  This next photo shows some of the books on the floor.

I took both of the above photos after I had already been looking for over an hour.  I had gotten most of what I wanted by that point, but after I took the photos, I checked a few more times and found even more books.  The books are always so mixed together that it is very hard to spot the ones I want.  I also want books that I'm not going to recognize easily, so I tend to miss those on the first few passes.

Most of the books that I purchased at this year's sale were vintage teen books.  Someone donated a large number of Sweet Valley High books plus some other great vintage teen books.  This is what I purchased.

I would have been disappointed if the only books I had found had been the low number of vintage series books.  The vintage teen books are what made this a great sale.

No comments: