Friday, January 2, 2009

I LOVE a bargain!!

WOW -- two posts in one day. This will not become a habit I guarantee as classes start up next week and I will have precious little free time. However, I spent my last day of vacation doing my most favorite activity of all --- shopping for book bargains. I came home after a two hour shopping spree with 6 new books (well, new to me) for less than $16.00. I am dancing the happy dance :)

I had a 30% off coupon at Borders for any book, plus another $5.00 off coupon. So...I combined those and purchased the Bill Bryson book, Shakespeare: The World is a Stage for a whopping $5.12 including tax! I had briefly skimmed the book at the library last week and discovered that it is a very well written (with a dash of humor), concise history of Elizabethan England as well as biography of the Bard. It is certainly not an all- encompassing biography, but it will suit my needs for an annual "review" prior to teaching Macbeth. I am thrilled to add this to my educational library.

I then went across the street to the Half Price Bookstore. Even though I visited this store just 5 days ago, it was definitely worth another visit -- especially to the clearance section in the back. I feel like I hit the mother load!! My first find, and a book that has been on my wishlist for quite some time, was Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I downloaded a sample of this book on my Kindle a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed the first 20 pages or so. At the price of $2.00 I simply could not pass up this bargain.

The other wish list find happened to be How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill. I was intrigued by this book when it first appeared in bookstores last year, but somehow always opted to put it back on the shelf in favor of another literary interest. However, at the incredibly affordable price of only $1.00 I snatched it up today without hesitation.

I couldn't by-pass the mystery aisle of the store, so I took a break from the clearance section to see if there was a new mystery author available (well, new to me that is). I just started reading mysteries this past October and have been doing some personal research to try to find those authors whose writing style I enjoy, who engage my mental abilities without being too taxing, and which can be read at a fairly quick pace since I seem to only have small pockets of free time during the school year. So far I have found interest in Stephanie Barron (Jane Austen mystery series), Elizabeth George (Inspector Linley series), Anne Perry (William Monk series and the Thomas Pitts series), Laura Child (Tea Shop mysteries), and Cleo Coyle (Coffee Shop mysteries). Today I was lucky to find Lorna Barrett's Murder is Binding. I have decided that it is a book worth trying as it involves two of my favorites: mysteries and books. I paid the most for this book - a whopping $3.50.

Back in clearance - Another book that caught my eye was Alice Sebold's memoir Lucky. I read Lovely Bones earlier this year and found it very thought-provoking, if not even a little disturbing. It is a book that I will probably re-read at another time and I am sure I will glean even more from the author's unusual point of view. This memoir is not going to be an easy read. As I understand it, Ms. Sebold was raped at the age of 18 and left for dead. Throughout the police investigation she was constantly told how "lucky" she was to be alive. Not surprisingly, she did not feel at all lucky. I will definitely have to be in the right frame of mind to read this book, but at the clearance price of $2.00, I thought I would add it to my bookshelf now rather than later.

The last bargain that I simply could not resist was Wally Lamb's I Know This Much is True. I have heard so many wonderful accolades for this author, but I have not read a single one of his books. While his most recent work, The Hour I First Believed, has been on my wish list since its initial release due to the gripping subject matter of the Columbine High School shootings, I have not had the financial resources to pay for that hard cover edition. However, at a $2.00 price tag, I think I will enjoy discovering his writing talent while reading this book and I will patiently wait for the paperback release of the other.

Well, there you have it. My book bargains of the day. I still have a smile on my face and a peace in my heart as I look at the newest TBR pile on the edge of the nightstand. Life is Good!!


  1. WOW...nice job! Great deals!
    Since you mentioned mysteries, I would like to recommend "Colorado Kid" by Stephen King. I loved this book. It is nothing like any of his other books, nothing scary or gory. Just a good mystery with a great cliff hanger. I am not a fan of Stephen King, but I did enjoy this book. It was recommended to me by a friend. I actually took a writing class (one of my 100 credits in college, LOL!!!) and wrote a paper on it. I think you will enjoy it!
    I agree with your former post on the "Outlander" challenge, however, I wasn't as smart as you and not join. I actually joined. I downloaded it on to my kindle, so wish me luck!
    Check back with you soon!

  2. Oops, I didn't mean to make that anonymous. I am still trying to get the hang of things!

  3. Oh, you got some great stuff! I'm a huge fan of "The Curious Incident..." and also "I Know this Much Is True." Also glad to be reminded of "Lucky" -- although I don't know how I'd do reading it. That's one topic that I find really, really hard. And Rodger and I were delighted to read that you've found Nick Hornby! If you ever want more insight into your brother, read Hornby's "High Fidelity" and then watch the movie:) Anyway, HOORAY for bargain books!

  4. "I Know This Much Is True" is the first book by Lamb that I read and to date the best one as well.

  5. Ralphie and the pups got a mention in today's post:

    Check it out, Mama o' Ralphie!

  6. Just so you know -- authors don't make anything from used book sales; they can only stay published by new books sales. Sadly, there'll be a lot of fallout for mid-list authors in the next year when publishing contracts are canceled right, left, and center.

  7. You paid $3.50 for my book, Murder is Binding? I'm impressed.

    Hope you'll try the sequel, which comes out exactly a month from today: Bookmarked for Death. The book trailer will be announced on Monday. Be sure to check out my website:

  8. In response to Sasha's comment: I totally understand that authors do not make money on second hand book sales, and I am truly sorry that at this time I cannot support authors by buying books at full price. Since my husband has been unemployed for the past 6 weeks and there is currently no job on the horizon, I feel that I owe my family good stewardship of my finances. Once we are back on our feet financially, I would LOVE to walk into any independent bookstore and purchase all the books that my little heart desires (I would like to support local bookstores as well as the authors themselves). Until that time, however, I will continue to read, expose myself to new authors, and utilize the library (mostly) and the discount bookstores (occasionally). I am truly sorry if I have offended anyone out there in cyber-land

  9. Molly--I just read your apology post and your post here. There is nothing wrong with a good bargain. Times ARE tough and frankly we can't all afford to buy shiny new books. If I can help it, I get all of my books at HPB or even better at the library sales. Sure, maybe they don't send money the author's way, but if we like the book enough, maybe we'll be more likely to get a newer copy of their next book. I don't think you should have to apologize--you didn't do anything wrong.

  10. Okay, I'm going to step in the fray here. Sasha - your comment was really out of line. If you've got an issue with used book sales, I suggest you take up your crusade with the used book stores. Contact managers, picket the stores, whatever jibes with your conscious. But to post that kind of a comment here? Weak.

    By the way....Half-Price Books is my favorite store. Powell's is also on my list. Guess I'll proudly join the ranks of bad readers for that.

  11. I'm glad you picked up I Know This Much is's one of my favorite books of all time. :-)


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