Saturday, May 5, 2012

Report from the Syracuse Hazard Branch Library Sale

While sifting through Craigslist's Books and Magazines section last night I ran into an ad "$1 bag book sale tomorrow" at the Hazard Branch Library here in Syracuse.  While the Hazard isn't in my usual hunting range, it is close enough to warrant the trip.  The sale started at 9 and I got there a bit after 10 (what can I say... I like to sleep late on Saturdays).

The Hazard Branch is a pleasant, open space, on the big side for Syracuse's branch libraries.  Near Syracuse's beautiful Polish Sacred Heart Basilica, it obviously serves the large European ethnic communities in the neighborhood, with books in Polish, Ukrainian, and German as well as a Irish newspapers for the community based out of the Tipp Hill neighborhood.  These are old neighborhoods, high up on the city's western hills with ethnic communities going back over a century--it was originally popular with Catholic workers who were not welcome in the old city core (today's Downtown).  On my way home, I stopped by Harrison's Bakery which is just down the road from the library; the Bakery itself was worth the trip and I highly recommend a visit.

The book sale itself was decent, with around a dozen tables or racks sorted into fiction, nonfiction, mass market paperback, children's and non-English books (the had both Polish and German books).  There were only a handful of used library books, which is good as they a lower resale value.  Overall, the pickings were not fantastic, I found about $12 worth of resale textbooks (mostly cheap paperbacks bought for less than $0.50).  The fact that it was a bag sale freed me from having to be highly constrained by cost calculations, which was pleasant.

The one interesting find was a first edition of Aldou's Huxley's "Ape and Essence."  Huxley (the author of "Brave New World") wrote this dystopian novel in 1948.  The book had a bit of water damage, but was still well worth the price of a $1 bag sale.  I posted it up on ebay this afternoon, setting a beginning price of $4 and a buy it now of $6.50 ($3.50 shipping).  If the book wasn't 1st edition, the lack of dust jacket and the water damage (which is only to the cover) would make it pretty worthless, so I am hoping that the low price will bring in buyers who are not necessarily collectors but interested in the content as well.

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