Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Purge

Not the movie.

During my freshman year in college a retiring English professor let students come into her office and take whatever books they wanted. She needed them gone so she wouldn't have to move them back into her house. I was flabbergasted at the time--who could just let go of their precious book collection?--but now I get it. If all goes to plan I'll be moving in May to another apartment, and just thinking about "the big move" has my bones hurting already. I've lived in one place for 5 years and collected quite a lot of..."stuff." Books in particular.

Not to whine, but I'm moving for financial reasons. The rent in my current apartment has gone up $100, and in a way that cleverly doesn't violate the lease contract I signed a year ago. So I'm cleverly moving the fuck out. It's sad that I'm 28 and at no point do I ever have an extra $100 floating around in my bank account. I live paycheck to paycheck every month. I've had to borrow an exorbitant amount from my parents in the past few months, who past age 22 I never wanted to have to mooch off of ever again. I've cut back on a lot, but unfortunately before my rent went up I bought a used car (which was not an optional thing to buy--it was sorely needed), so I'm paying it off as well.


To the point. I'm putting up my life for sale. Well, my books. I'll stop being dramatic. Selling books is a funny thing. What I bought for $15.00 a few months ago is now worth $00.15 on nearly every used book platform available. It hardly seems worth the trouble, so tomorrow I'll be donating 2 gigantic boxes full of unsellable books to the AAUW, who run a semi-annual local used book sale. So if you're in the Roanoke, Virginia area, come on out February 1-2.

The rest are going up on my page. So. If you're interested in buying some books, DVDs, or video games, maybe check out my page? Anything not sold by April-ish will be donated to BetterWorldBooks.

Highlights from the collection:

  • Maphead by Ken Jennings, which I talk about here.
  • Perfume by Patrick Suskind which I talk about here.
  • Madaddam by Margaret Atwood, which I haven't even finished reading yet! I'm selling because I can check out the ebook through my local library. I'm not making a very good sales pitch.
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, which I never finished because I'm attention deficit and it's 900 pages, not because it's not fascinating. Because it is. Also, because every time I see it on my shelf I think "Team of Rivals: World Police" and it has just got to stop.
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  • its followup, The Magician King.
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, which I talk about here.
  • LEON Baking and Desserts, the most beautiful cookbook I've ever laid eyes on. If this doesn't sell I won't be donating it. Actually, you might want to snatch this up before I change my mind about selling it.
  • And several children's literature books leftover from a class I took in college. Seven years later and I'm just now letting go of some of these.


  1. I had to sell books one summer so I could go on a trip to Guatemala. I was aghast at how cheaply used books were selling. Some I took to a home school convention and got some money for--I sold them for 1/2 price. But many didn't sell because they were too pricey. Then, I sold some at a used book store, but I got maybe 1/5 or less of the price. I did get some store credit, but that didn't help me earn money. So, it is a chore.

    I kept wondering why used books weren't a valued commodity.

  2. Yeah, selling used books seems like a tricky business. It's a weird algorithm of supply, demand, condition, and publication date. I sometimes take mine to a local used bookstore, but they only supply store credit as well. Which is fine most of the time, but not when I'm trying to clear out books and make money! :)