book sale


It’s book sale time!  That time when you can buy 15 books for the price of one! 

We will be open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.  That gives you eight hours of treasure hunting and here are five tips to help you get the most out of this one-day event:

1. Know the lay of the land

There are 4 general areas of the book sale.  As you come into the ballroom, through the south entrance...

  • The first couple rows will be children’s materials.
  • The middle few rows will have adult and teen fiction titles.
  • The last couple rows will have adult and teen nonfiction titles.
  • The south end of the ballroom will hold special items including magazines, movies, music, and more.

Beyond these very general categories, we do not sort our books.  This means you should give yourself plenty of time to search for things you may want.

2. Arrive early...but maybe drop in a few times throughout the day

There are some truly amazing finds among the hundreds of boxes of books available at our sales.  Sometimes the best stuff goes fast, so arriving early can be a very good idea. However, as books fly off the tables, we replace them with more boxes so that what is available for purchase changes throughout the day.  You can find great stuff all day long!

3. Know what's available and why

Many people wonder where all these books come from.  Well, they come from a couple of places: 

  • Discards – these are books that were part of our collection but have been discarded.  We discard books if they are falling apart, if they are not popular, or if we have too many copies.  We replace these books with newer copies or titles so that our collection stays in good condition.
  • Donations – we receive many generous donations of books throughout the year.  Sometimes we add these donations to our collection which helps us buy even more books for our patrons.  But sometimes, we already have copies or the books don’t fit with our collection, so we sell them at the book sale and use the proceeds to provide programs for our patrons.

You can tell the difference between these two categories by looking at the spine to see if it has a spine label or any other stickers or markings showing the library owned the book previously.  Donations will usually be free of these labels and they often look newer and have seen less use. So, if you're looking for "like new" kinds of books, skip the ones with spine labels; if you're looking for well-loved but popular books, searching through library discards might be the way to go (you'll often find a Harry Potter or Diary of a Wimpy Kid book hanging out in a box of discards just because it's circulated so many times!). 

4. Be prepared with help and bags

With over 23,000 items on display for sale, you may need to bring a little help to sort and search.  Gather your posse and attack the job together. If you know what you're looking for, divide and conquer! Also, bring bags and boxes to haul away your booty.  We supply some shopping bags and boxes, but eliminate any uncertainty and bring your own reinforced modes of transportation.  Books are awesome…but they are also heavy!

5. End of the day deals

Toward the last hour or so of each sale we usually start thinking about the big job of hauling all the leftover books back down to the basement for storage until the next sale.  That’s a big job, and we like to make it smaller by lowering the prices of the books.  So, come back at the end and see what additional discoveries you can make!

Bonus Tip:  Every year, we have a book sale in association with the Summer Reading Kickoff! If you register at the kickoff that day, you will receive a voucher for one free book. 

Provo Library Blog

Your daily stop for recommendations, reviews, and random facts about the Provo City Library. Look for new content every week day. 

Blog Contributors

Other Blogs

Library Staff Reviews 

Children's Book Reviews