My turn: Panning for gold at library booksale

The annual used book sale that gets underway 5 p.m. today at the Portales Public Library is my 13th as a member of the Friends of the Library.

Betty Williamson

Betty Williamson

Here are some lessons I have learned along the way.

Books are heavy. If possible, find someone younger and stronger than you to carry them.

Westerns are our most popular genre. We rarely have any left at the end of a sale. I wonder if that is a regional anomaly, or if westerns have universal appeal.

Romances are also reliably popular. I can offer no explanation.

Book buyers are polite, but sometimes cut-throat competitive. We have never had a brawl, but I have witnessed numerous exchanges of searing glares.

I read once that if all of the National Geographic magazines in the United States were removed, our entire continent would rise several inches. I believe the same is true of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Nobody buys Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. It is even hard giving them away.

At its best, shopping for used books rivals the excitement of panning for gold. The nuggets are there if you keep looking.

And even non-readers are in luck. Twenty-five cent paperbacks and 50-cent hardbacks piled against your walls offer superior winter insulation.

See you at the sale!

Betty Williamson hates shopping, but makes an exception for books. You may reach her at

Speak Your Mind