Library Book Sale Haul 2017 Part Eight: My Library Book Sale Experience

Library Book Sale

We’ve finally reached the end of my eight part series on my largest book haul ever from my library’s annual book sale. This was definitely a crazy sale for me… my sister and I walked away with 223 books for only $65! Like I mentioned in my first post, this does seem a little excessive. However, my sister and I use this sale to mostly stock up on books for our future classrooms.

Last year, I found the original price of every book we purchased to see how much we actually saved. This year, that process was a little too difficult. With so many books, many with old editions or prices not easily located online, it wasn’t possible to find an accurate percent savings or even the original price of every book. Instead, I calculated how much we paid per book and compared it to the average price for a children’s book, a middle grade book, a young adult book, and an adult book.

Since we paid $65 dollars for 223 books, we paid about 30 cents for book. To determine the prices of a standard book, I use the prices created by the School Library Journal. Let’s get into the savings!

For a hardcover children’s book the average price is $17.77 and the average price for a paperback is $7.29. That means we saved about 98% on each hardcover children’s book and about 95% on each paperback children’s book. Each hardcover young adult book averages at $19.12 and each paperback young adult book averages at $12.09. For each hardcover young adult book, we saved 98.4% and for each paperback young adult book we saved 97.5%. Each hardcover adult book averages at $26.98 and each paperback averages at $16.06. We saved 98.8% on each hardcover adult book and 98.1% on each paperback book. Overall, we saved an average of 97.6% off of regular retail price on the books we purchased at the sale.

Compared to last year’s sale, I found that I picked up more picture books, early chapter books, and middle grade books. I think this year’s selection of young adult books was smaller than last year and the books available were ones that I already had in my book collection. This year I really scored with picture books by finding several books on my wishlist, including Pinkalicious and Aqualicious.

During last year’s sale, my percent savings was a little higher at 98%, but due to possibly inaccurate book pricing, the savings may actually be slightly different. Either way, those savings are pretty high of the regular retail price. I think I paid slightly more for books this year due to finding more hardcover books on the first day of sale and inconsistent pricing across the book sale employees.

Consistent with previous years, the $5 bag sale was the craziest day of the sale. If you are looking for DVDs or books in a series, I suggest scoping out the location of these items the day before. The line outside of the library is extremely long before the sale opens and these tend to be the first items of the sale to go. I’ve seen people not even look at the DVDs before sweeping a whole pile into their bag.

Since the library most likely will give you a bag to ensure consistency, you might want to bring your own tote bag to stash items as your walk around the sale. The flimsy plastic bags won’t be able to hold everything that you will end up stuffing in them and it is difficult to maneuver around the sale with a stack of books in your arms. After you secure your most desired items and scope out the sale again for any books you missed, it’s a good idea to find a less crowded area away from the sale too review the books you picked up, take back any that you accidentally grabbed and don’t want, and to carefully organize the books into as few bags as possible. For more information on how my library sale worked and what to expect on different days of your library book sale, check out my experience post from last year here.

Overall, I really enjoyed this year’s sale and can’t wait until next year! I walked away with a lot of books that I’ve been wanting to read and supported my local library at the same time. I recommend library book sales to any book lover looking to add quality books to their collection for a fraction of the cost while supporting their local reading community!


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