Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bye Bye Bookie

You'd think a monthly library sale near an affluent neighborhood would be a Can't Miss item on a dealer's calendar. It was, until a year or so ago. Dealers used to line up at the door.

Not anymore. The stock has dwindled considerably. An annual sale would probably be a better option for this library but I suspect that maybe the lady that works at the sale each month enjoys it very much.

I dragged myself to this sale in November because I hadn't visited this sale for many months. The library sale lady recognized me, even without my entourage of children. As I expected, the inventory was about as exciting as the book selection at the grocery store. I Scoutpaled a few items, not because I thought they might truly be worth something, but so I could feel like I wasn't totally wasting my time.

Then I spotted this book on a high shelf. It had the original price tag of $125.00, which was promising. The publisher was obscure and it had a very specific and alluring title: Spiritually Moving: A Collection of American Folk Art Sculpture. I figured it was worth hauling the eight pound book off the shelf in order to Scoutpal it. The cheapest copy on Amazon was $76.00 and the sales rank was somewhere in the six figures. Woo hoo. The library was asking $15.00 for it but even at that price I knew I'd easily surpass the Rule of Three (selling a book for at least three times what you paid for it) and figured there was a chance it would sell before Christmas. This is the situation where Scoutpal is especially invaluable. I decided to list it in our eBay store in addition to Amazon and it sold on eBay a few days ago.

It was the only salable book at the library and I wondered how it got there. Did a husband in the nearby affluent neighborhood - tired, perhaps, of picking out jewelry and cashmere sweaters year after year - buy it on a whim as a present for his artistically inclined wife one Christmas? The book is very oversized and cannot fit on a normal bookcase. I displayed it on a living room table like a piece of sculpture until it sold. There are only so many times one can page through a book like this and maybe the woman tired of the book taking up so much space and, in a fit of generosity, donated it to the library. It is now on its way to Indiana where, I suspect, it will be given as a gift once again and, once again, someone will have to find a way to store or display this book. I'll close with my favorite photo from the book, one that I appreciate as a resident of America's Dairyland:







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