If you’re an avid reader and love the feel of paper books over new digital forms, browsing for your next read (or 10) at your local thrift shop may be for you! However, thrifting books is very different from shopping for books at a bookstore. Here are our tips for a successful book run!
Tip #1: Don’t make a list of wants.
Books donated to thrift stores are bountiful and widely varied across genres, authors, and publication dates but it is not likely that a thrift store will have a book on your to-be-purchased list. But if you happen to see one, snatch it up fast!
Don’t be afraid to make a list of authors or genres you would like to look for! This will help you guide your search and narrow down your purchases.
Tip #2: Browse all the available books or risk missing out on a great read!
Thrift store book collections are often not organized like bookstores and libraries. You won’t see books sectioned off by genre or alphabetized by the author’s last name. Granted, some categories of books are generally separated like children’s books, cookbooks, and educational books, but that is typically as far as the sorting goes. Browsing the shelves from top to bottom lets you see all of the available titles and find more options for your favorite genres!
Tip # 3: Do at least two sorts before you head to check out.
We recommend sorting through your book selections at least twice. The first sort is done when you pull books from the shelves after your initial browse. The second sort is done after you’ve loaded up your arms/basket/cart with a bunch of “maybe” books—going over your initial prospects will help you narrow down which ones to purchase. After all, you know best what books you won’t be able to put down and which ones will make you struggle to turn the page.
Sierra currently serves as the Publicity Chairman on the Fort Drum Thrift Shop's Board of Directors. She is a member of our Fort Drum community and an avid thrift shopper herself!