Monday, February 19, 2007

If only all library sales were this well organized

After a few weeks of cold and snow, which followed nearly two weeks of illness, I decided it was time to leave the house. And the city. And the state, even. I decided to go to the Palatine, Illinois library sale with First and Second Daughters last Friday.

Thanks to Book Sale Finder I knew that there would be 15,000 books, all of them donated, so I figured it might be worth it. Palatine is two hours away and not exactly a fantasy February travel destination so we decided to whoop it up and stay spend the night at a hotel after the sale. I was confident that the books that we would find would more than cover the cost of the trip, which, of course, wasn't purely for business. Even if the sale had been full of Reader's Digest books and microwave cookbooks it would have been worth it because Third and Fourth daughters were not with me, they stayed home with my husband. Aahhh.

The library has a parking garage and an entire room full of DVDs. After wandering around a little bit in awe we got into the line, which was already 30-40 people deep. I forgot our bags in the car and therefore probably didn't look at all like a dealer. Like I always do, I looked at the other people in line to see if I could tell who the dealers were. Even if all of them were dealers, if you divide 15,000 by 30 there should still be plenty of books for everyone.

After a five minute wait we entered the sale. I entered the children's area first. There were no dealers in that room, which is often the case when I attend a library sale. That's fine. More books for me that way. Plus all the children's books were priced at 25 cents, which is usually the case at sales. I plucked a few gems from that room, including the Christmas Book published by Whitman in the 1950's. It's worth $40.00 and I've sold it before.

I headed into main room but it didn't feel crowded. I noticed about six other dealers there, all with scanners on their smartphones, and First Daughter was jealous. I only used ScoutPal once (see, who needs scanners, I told her) and scooped up several items for book lots on eBay, such as Wildlife Fact Files and Sue Grafton paperbacks.

My muscles didn't get the usual workout because there were tables where one could place one's boxes of books. This enabled me to relax more because I didn't have to worry about people rummaging through my boxes, thinking my books were fair game. A volunteer would add up the books and attach a paper with the final cost. I didn't even have to go stand in line to pay. I just handed the money to a volunteer and, to my surprise, she put the boxes on a cart and wheeled them to the door. She showed me where to pull up my van and after I pulled up an elderly gentleman wheeled the cart to the van and insisted on loading the books for me. Book Sale Finder said this was a well organized sale but never did I expect this royal treatment. I can't count the number of times that I've carried partially ripped bags of books and overflowing boxes to the curb, hoping no one would tamper with them while I ran off to get the van.

Kudos to the Friends of Palatine volunteers. If you're near Palatine it's a sale worth attending. When it's February and it's cold and there aren't a lot of orders it's nice to give the inventory a boost and also give the morale a little boost by letting yourself be treated so kindly by these volunteers
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1 Comments:

Blogger Mimi said...

That sounds so awesome!

Please forgive me, my sister, for the offenses I have comitted against you.

10:34 AM  

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