Monday, September 30, 2013

6 Places to Find Cheap Books

We all know that a quick search on the internet will yield countless prices for comparison. Here a few places you may not have thought to check for cheap books.

Yes, these are my books!

1) Book Fairs/Festivals - I discovered my favorite author at a book festival. And not because she was speaking, but because one of her books was at a vendor table for $3.
Drawback: You may go to another tent/table and see the exact same book, for cheaper!

2) Libraries - At some library book sales you can get books as cheap as a few cents!  Some libraries will have a handful of books for sale but others actually have book stores. Next time you visit, take a moment to ask a librarian if there are books for sale.

Drawback: That horrid plastic jacket! My library book purchases no longer have jackets because I always remove them.

3) Yard Sales - You could stumble upon several gems depending on the host. Or there may be absolutely nothing that interests you. It’s really hit or miss. You may want to call the number if one is provided and see if there will be books there at all!

Drawback: Availability is completely random. Don’t spend your weekends searching for books here!

4) Thrift Stores/Flea Markets - The selection can be random but one or two visits will allow you to determine whether or not it can be a go to spot for your book deals. Once you find a store/market that pulls in good books, you can usually count on finding several more over the course of time.

Drawback: Accessibility. Thrift stores and certainly flea markets can be hard to come by in some places.

5) Bookstore Clearance - I can’t tell you the last time I strolled through the aisles of a book store. When I enter, I go straight for the clearance section. In independent bookstores you may have to hunt for it but in large chain stores there’s no mistaking the clearance section.

Drawbacks:  Its highly unlikely that you’ll beat the prices at the other locations listed but if you’re like me, a trip to a bookstore is never time wasted. There’s something about that place that feels like home.

6) Ask a Reader - If you know a voracious reader, chances are they know where to find cheap books. In my area, there are a couple of spots that I refer to as golden, including a warehouse location that gives away books for free!

Drawbacks: Starting a conversation about books with a bibliophile means you won’t be going anywhere fast. Be prepared to chat about your current read, your last read, your next read, and what you should read. Smiley

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Most They Ever Had by Rick Bragg

When I picked up this book and realized the story was about a town less than 100 miles east of my hometown, I purchased it. The book is compiled of individual stories of cotton mill workers in Jacksonville, Alabama in the 1930's. Previously, the books I’ve read about this era discuss laborers that are black. In this book, they are not.

Within the first several pages I found two sentences that sum up the book, “You need not use foul language to damn a man here. Just say that a day’s work would kill him, and you tore him down to the bald nothing.”

From the stories, we learn of countless workers suffering, many from lung disease due to poor filtration and ventilation in the mills. The men and women of the mills knew that working there was a potential death sentence but they felt they had no other choice.

One worker describes cotton so thick inside the mills that it limited visibility. Another describes having to eat lunch while cleaning the webs of cotton from their faces and picking cotton out of their food. The mill, local pharmacy, grocery store, and living accommodations all had the same ownership. It was the perfect way to leave workers indebted and unable to break the cycle of poverty. Earnings only covered enough to pay what was owed.

A third worker recalls being a kid with a mom who worked in the mill. He tells about the one day a week he spent most of the day inside. It was because that was the day his mother washed his only pair of underwear and he had to wait for them to dry. More discussion reveals that for town residents with missing fingers and mangled hands, it was no mystery that they must’ve been pulled into one of the mill machines.

The stories, all of them, are somber and unfortunately they stay with you for a while. The only good thing I can recall reading in this book is that the mill was finally demolished in 2006.  

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 2013 Books Galore!


Hey there! So I’m behind on the reviews but most of my activity has been happening over on the Facebook page. No worries! You haven’t missed anything major, only updates on what I’ve been reading. I may or may not post reviews on all of these but here’s what I’ve finished:

The Man Who Lived in an Eggcup by John Gamel, M.D
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Tempest Tales by Walter Mosley
Long Division by Kiese Laymon
The Most They Ever Had by Rick Bragg
Green Power: The Successful Way of A.G. Gaston by A.G. Gaston
P.G. County by Connie Briscoe
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

And since I hit this reading spurt, I decided to line up a few reads. These include the books that I need to finish before they make it to the screen!

High Priority

Higher Priority
Ignore Everybody is actually a re-read for me but I feel like my creative juices are not flowing. Hopefully this book will help.

As a person that doesn’t follow any particular author’s work, I’m surprised find myself saying that I may have a favorite. Since discovering Edwidge Danticat at the Harlem Book Fair, I’m kind of obsessed with her novels. I’ve finished The Farming of Bones and Breath, Eyes, Memory. I am now reading Krik?Krak! I will attend her author event in D.C. next week. Excited!

Danticat's work

Whew! I think that’s enough for one post.

Did you discover any new authors this summer!?