Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Novels Commonly Found At Goodwill

I love thrift shops.  It's like going through Grandma's attic, but there aren't any gross bug carcasses to look out for.  I shop there for clothes, furniture, and knick-knacks; I love the feeling of unearthing a treasure out of a bunch of stuff that only narrowly missed the trash can. Of course, when I'm there, I hunt for books.

Books are one of the biggest toss-ups in a thrift store, in my opinion.  Unlike furniture, books do not age well.  Thrift store books are frequently wrinkly and dusty and slightly smelly. There are a lot of dismal paperbacks.  It's extremely rare to find current books, or books you want to read.  For some reason, I keep looking anyway.

One thing I've found in my thrift store perusals, is that certain books and authors appear on thrift store shelves over and over and over again.  Some of them make sense; some are quite puzzling.

1. Barbara Kingsolver: Good news for me! I love Barbara Kingsolver and I always wind up giving away my copies of Prodigal Summer. 

2. Lemony Snicket: Also good news for me! I am collecting the entire series right now, buying exclusively at thrift shops. So far, I have 1,2,3,4,7, and 8.

3. Great Illustrated Classics: I once ran into a serious collector of these books at a Goodwill. 

4. Eoin Colfer: Most usually book 1.

5. Nicholas Sparks: There is always a shitty Nicholas Sparks book at a thrift shop.

6. Huckleberry Finn: Usually a Huckleberry Finn is to be found. There are hundreds of different editions.

7. C.S. Lewis: Most likely The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

8. The Mermaid Chair: Understandable. It was a terrible follow-up to The Secret Life of Bees.

9. Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: The paperback copies are always really battered because the book is so big.

10.  Gregory Maguire: Have we gotten to the point, yet, where kids are shocked that Wicked is based on a book? 


  1. Every single Goodwill that I go to always have multiple copies of the Twilight Saga. I don't know why I find that so hilarious but it's become a thing between me and my friend.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

    1. Ooh, I haven't seen many Twilight Saga books at Goodwill recently, but there will be a Twilight, without fail, at any Plato's Closet.

  2. I also see the entire Twilight series times 10 at the thrift store. Also a lot by Sue Monk Kidd, Stephen King, Anne Rice.

    I started collecting the Oz books from thrift stores and haven't been able to find any more past the few I've gotten!

    1. Oh yeah -- and Grisham, Evanovich, Clancy, Patterson... I didn't include those since I thought they'd be uninteresting and not really revelatory. I don't see much Stephen King at my Goodwill, but that'll be something to look out for. As far as collecting books goes, thrift store finds can be ideal, especially if you're looking for unusual editions. I love how the edition of the book -- the art, dimensions, type, date -- add so much substance to a physical copy of a book.

    2. That is awesome that you're collecting Oz books through thrift shopping!

    3. I've sometime bought some of my favorites that I already own because I like the older version that the thrift store has!

    4. Totally understand. In fact, I once bought a children's book at Goodwill because the 80's cover featured two kids swimming underwater with an enormous albino dolphin. It was ridiculous and one dollar.

  3. I wish we had good thrift shops here :( We have some that sell second-hand, third-hand books at dirt-cheap prices, but geez, the titles are usually some that don't interest me at all, not even in the slightest. I'd even take a Nicolas Sparks if it was cheap! But meh, the titles the thrift shops get here are usually pretty obscure.

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. Ooh, where do you hail from? *Goes away to stalk* Philippines! That's too bad that you don't have great thrift shop selection. How do you typically procure your books? I'm afraid I know next to nothing about Filipino retail.