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Nickel-and-Dime Sale


I almost forgot the $1 book sale at the donation center of Friends of the San Francisco Public Library today. The monthly sale attracts book lovers and merchants. Lots of books for a bargain. I’m mostly interested in the ARCs, Advanced Reader’s Copies, that publishers sent to the library and somehow seeped through the hands of staff. You will be surprised the titles you’ll find here, big-name authors and bestseller titles. Not that I’m a fan of Dan Brown, but I picked up an ARC of The Inferno. Beautiful Ruins is now available in trade paperback so I wasn’t surprised to find the proof. Also available in proof is the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner, The Orphan Master’s Son. Ian McEwan is hit-or-miss in my book. But I picked up the proof of Sweet Tooth without a second thought. So if you want new books for a bargain, try the book sale or step sale at your local library. You’ll be surprised.

Book Donation Center


I have always talked about book acquisitions. Ever wonder what happened to all the books after I have finished? I keep about half of them and donate the rest. The thrift shop has been a reliable recipient of my discarded books but I have found the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library donation center an even better place. This venue is singlehandedly responsible for the merchandises at the two locations of Reader’s Bookstore at the Main Library and in Fort Mason. From the outside, the only hint that the bookstore at Fort Mason Center isn’t your average used bookstore is a cart, often stacked with bags or boxes, under a sign reading, “Book Donations.” Sales at the Readers Bookstore, which gets its inventory solely through donations, keep climbing while other stores struggle to survive or face closure. Everything—from signed, first edition copies to recent best-sellers—is priced about 20 percent lower than at other used bookstores. The donation center in the Mission hosts a $1 book sale on every second Saturday of the month. All proceeds from book sales go to the library, as the stores are all manned by volunteers. I would drop off the books and browse their store, end up spending money, but at least it’s for a good cause.