Saturday, September 6, 2014

Book Bargains: Centenary College Book Bazaar

It seems like temperatures in September should be cooler as my husband and I join the queue that snakes down the sidewalk and around the Gold Dome at Centenary College, the small liberal arts school in our neighborhood.  The sun beats down on all the early birds who are waiting for the doors to open for the 28th annual Centenary College Book Bazaar.  Over 70,000 books are donated for this two-day event, and prices for most books range from 25 cents to $5.00.  The gym is lined with tables of books, all generally organized according to type of book and price, e.g., hard back fiction, paperbacks under $1.00, non-fiction, Louisiana books, nature, children’s books, etc.  An upstairs area holds vintage record albums and CDs. 

Gym filled with tables of books before a previous book sale.

As soon as the doors open, book lovers cluster around and slowly circle the tables of books.  Some people have rolling suitcases or carts with them, almost everyone carries bags of some description to carry their bargains as they shop.  It is orderly, although crowded at many tables.  Bargain hunters may have a plan or specific books they are looking for.  I shop randomly, looking for books that seem interesting (and one has to make that decision rather quickly as there are always people near you wanting to be where you are).  I pick up books by familiar authors and topics that I want to read about. 

To me the book bazaar always has a festive air, and it isn’t as crowded now that they open at 4:00, instead of 5:00 on Friday evenings.  We retirees can get in early!

 People shopping at book sale.
(Centenary College file photo)
Ricky and I each came away with purchases that pleased us.  I decided to play with the new Ollo fisheye lens for our iphones so I could admire all our bargains!

I laid out all the books & records on the dining room table so we could see what we purchased!
The book sale actually continues on Saturday with books going to half price after 1:00, but I'm going to show restraint and read some of these books I already own.
Books Purchased 2014 Centenary College Book Bazaar
1.  Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams. (Pocket Books, 1988)
2.  The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery. (Europe Editions, 2008)
3.  A Royal Pain, by Rhys Bowen (Berkley Prime Crime, 2008)
4.  Evans to Betsy, by Rhys Bowen (St. Martin's Minotaur, 2002)
5.  Royal Blood, by Rhys Bowen (Berkley Prime Crime, 2010)
6.  A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson (Broadway Books, 1999)
7.  Must Love Dogs, by Claire Cook (New American Library, 2002)
8.  Breath, Eyes, Memory, by Edwidge Danticat (Vintage Books, 1994)
9.  A Country Herbal, by Lesley Gordon (Gallery Books, 1980)
10.  A Bone to Pick, by Charlaine Harris (Berkley Prime Crime, 1992)
11.  Last Scene Alive, by Charlaine Harris (Berkley Prime Crime, 2002)
12.  Shopaholic Ties the Knot, by Sophie Kinsella (Delta Fiction, 2003)
13.  Telex from Cuba, by Rachel Kushner (Scribner, 2008)
14.  A Monk Swimming, by Malachy McCourt (Hyperion, 1998)
15.  Cesar's Way, by Cesar Millan (Three Rivers Press, 2006)
16.  New York Days, by Willie Morris (Little, Brown & Co., 1993)
17.  One Foot in the Gravy, by Delia Rosen (Kensington Press, 2011)
18.  The Amateur Marriage, by Anne Tyler (Ballantine Books, 2004)
19.  A Killer Collection, by J. B. Stanley (Berkley Prime Crime, 2006)
20.  I Married Adventure, by Luci Swindoll (W Publishing Group, 2002
No doubt some of the above will be mistakes, but I got them all for the price of one new hardcover, so I'm not worried.
Other Media Purchased at Book Sale
Movie: Chocolat DVD
1.  Poco, Pickin' Up the Pieces
2.  Poco, Legend
3.  The Complete Lionel Hampton, 1937-1941 (6 record set)
4Ethel Water's Greatest Hits (2 record set)
5.  Louis Prima, The Wildest Show at Tahoe
Ricky is happy adding to his vintage vinyl collection at bargain prices. 
Tens of thousands of inexpensive books for vinyls available for collectors...what a perfect way to start a weekend!  Energized by our bargain hunting, Ricky and I headed to our local microbrewery for a cold one and tacos prepared on-site by K'Mexico! 
It doesn't get much better than this, but next weekend will find us heading to New Orleans, and we'll see what the Big Easy dishes up for us.





  1. Replies
    1. Indeed, Jenny, any book lover has to show restraint!

  2. Ha! I'm just wondering how long it took you to decide on your books! Wandering around so many always makes me frantic. Do I pick this up and hold on to it...or come back later and hope it is still there? Even bookstores bring on my anxiety; what if I leave a great book and choose a "wrong" book instead? Looks like you are bound to have some great reads in your purchases.

    1. I feel like I have to decide in a matter of seconds, so I always have some duds in my quick picks.