Pushing And Shoving For Bargain Books

Nov 17, 2012

Credit Sammy Mack

So I didn't make it far. I walked into the book fair and the first thing I saw was a sign that read, "Hardcover books $2, All others $1," a great deal from the Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library. In a well-organized tent, they had books lined up and classified as "Hardcover," "Classics," "Popular," and "Spanish." I expected to see a lot of names of authors I didn't know, names of authors I did know and might not like, or perhaps some obscure gardening books, but the Friends of the MDPC did a really great job getting their hands on some legitimately covetable used books. 

 They had literature like Faulkner, Gogol, and Marquez, popular novels that had been made into movies in   the past few years, like Savages and the Other Bolelyn Girl, as well as popular books from series-novelists like James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell. They only had three shelving units, but an industrious volunteer re-stocked the shelves as soon as a customer stepped into the check-out line.

WLRN is collaborating with the Florida Book Review to cover this year's Miami Book Fair International. Check back all weekend for updates.
While there, after getting shoved out of the way (twice) by another eager peruser's humongous purse, I overheard a conversation between two women about some other used books tables. 


One, the woman reported, had poetry books and a larger selection of fiction. All of the books there were $1, even the hardcovers. Another had more hardcovers but were more expensive. Another had signed books. Apparently the Book Fair is the place to stock up.  I watched a charming older man stand in the corner and read a book, leaning all of his weight on one foot and pointing the toes of his other foot toward the ground. He stood that way for a while and finally made the decision to purchase the book that had so engulfed him. After seeing him move toward the line, I gave into my fear that all the good ones would be gone and snagged five new books (one's a Christmas present!), even though I plan to be here for the majority of the day.


Sarah L. Mason is a contributor to the Florida Book Review. Mason attended Miami Book Fair International on Friday, Nov. 16. You can check out FBR's full live blog of the 2012 book fair here.