News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dispatches from the Front Lines of Civility: The Reston Used Book Sale

huge-crowd.jpgIt's the happiest long weekend of the year for closet claustrophobics and fans of frottage -- the semi-annual used books sale at the Reston Regional Library! Those of us with fond memories of being body-checked by patrons wielding enough books to make up a Ph.D. candidate's reading list, though, will be happy to know the Friends of the Reston Regional Library have made a few changes.

First, they've set aside another weekend for kids' book sales, meaning you'll no longer be able to train your kids for that upcoming trip on the Tokyo subway by pointing them to the far corner of the book-lined mosh pit room and telling them to squeeze their way through. Second, they've put up a bunch of signs telling people they'll be asked to leave if they don't follow the appropriate social norms expected for those of us who choose to venture out in public on a semi-regular basis. If you find the need to spell this out bizarre, you obviously haven't been to a book sale here before.

During our semi-annual trip to look for vintage copies of Garfield Gets Fat: Vols. 12-24, things did seem a bit more civil. There were a few monosyllabic grunts and a soupcon of body odor as we worked our way around other patrons, but overall it was a far cry from past years. We also spotted someone surreptitiously using a scanner, for who knows what nefarious purposes, but we're assuming Glenn Beck is involved in some way.

So book sale! Yay! Meanwhile, the Washington Post had a minor typo in its coverage of the sale. Turns out used trade paperbacks don't cost $10 each, but $100 each. No, wait -- that's our typo. They actually cost a buck. We can see how those tricky decimal points can trip up even experienced journalists! The sale runs through Sunday, supports a good cause, and has awesome deals if you're into that, whazzitcalled, "reading" thing, so we recommend checking it out.


  1. From the Uplands of RestonSeptember 25, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    The full-contact shoppers were crowding in as I left. Lots of good deals, and a few sharp elbows in the aisles.
    Saw a Connector reporter taking pics and interviewing people.

    How about putting all shoppers on in-line skates for that roller derby feel.

  2. Thanks for the vote of confidence. In these days of shrinking budget, the library book sale generates revenue that will help provide the library materials that the county can't or won't pay for any more. It is the ultimate recycling -- patrons donate books, patrons buy books, and patrons re-donate books! Money accrues to help patrons use library effectively. Cool beans. If you want to know more

  3. We don't have a problem with dealers or anyone else using scanners at the big sale -- Heck, we use 'em for inprocessing donations! We figure they're a tool of the trade for anyone wanting to make money selling books. If the dealers didn't come to our sale, we'd generate significantly less money for the library system. Most of the dealers are quite civil -- they've learned they will be asked to leave at our sale if they're not.

    But the scanners are verboten for the Children's Sale.

  4. This was my first time volunteering at the book sale, and I must say I was very pleased with generally how civilized, courteous, and polite everyone was. There were no bloodied noses on Wednesday's special "Friends" night, people didn't body-check one another trying to get the latest copy of Glenn Beck's book, and my new library friends and I capped off a great Sunday evening with a great dinner at Chili's (NOT using the funds we just raised of course! LOL!) :-)

    I look forward to helping to support future sales and am going to look into launching a massive Facebook promotional effort for future events to draw in even higher attendance from the DC Metro. (Rumor has it we attracted people from as far away as Adams-Morgan, Richmond, and UTAH!)

  5. Bought more than 20 books for less than $20 on Sunday! Wonderful sale and thanks Friends of Reston Library! It's such a great way to purchase books in an inexpensive and ecofriendly way! :D And the environment at this one was quite friendly. Everyone seemed understanding of how to work around each other like puzzle pieces. Though what those people with the scanners are doing is beyond me. Kinda creepy, but ok. :)


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