On Friday I went to the Friends of the SF Public Library Annual Big Book Sale at Fort Mason. It was incredible! Every book was under 5 bucks, and most of them were $1-$2. These were no crappy sidewalk throw-aways; they were books you'd buy brand new at full price. It was like winning a thousand dollar shoping spree to Barnes & Noble. The whole thing seemed too good to be true. I could've stayed there a week, I was so excited. I felt like my black lab, Chester, being let loose in a tennis ball factory.
The only downside was that the books were in no particular order other than general categories like "Fiction" or "Writing." So it took a lot of searching, but that was part of the fun. You never knew what treasure you'd find. I only wish I could've gone back on Sunday, when everything that hadn't sold by then was reduced to $1 or less.
They had everything, from cookbooks to genre fiction. I bought 30 books for around $65. I found a bunch of writing books I'd been looking for, including a textbook for which I was about to pay $70 on Amazon. I found a copy for $3. I cringed at seeing some hardcovers that my family or I had spent $25 on, selling for a dollar. The book I blogged about last week, If You Want to Write, I'd bought at a used bookstore for 7 bucks; at Fort Mason there were about 20 copies selling for a dollar. It did make me worry a bit. It's one thing to have 48 copies of The Da Vinci Code lying around, but why were there so many discarded writing books? If one were still writing, it seems like one would want to keep these books around for reference. Do we all give up so easily?