Resource for Cheap Reference Books

Today is the first day of our local library’s used book sale. They do these sales once a year and they are a great way to pick up not only general entertainment reading material but quality reference books on the cheap.

Most libraries have sales like this, either annually or ongoing. Patrons donate their used books throughout the year and the library adds in books they’ve culled from their collection for a variety of reasons.

In years past, I’ve picked up complete sets of reference book series for very cheap. For example, I have a complete set of The Family Creative Workshop encyclopedias that I bought for a whopping $5.00. These books are great for self-reliance as they give instructions on everything from making paper to bicycle maintenance. Highly recommended. The info, and pictures, are somewhat dated but still relevant.

I’ve been to many of these sales at different libraries and the prices are usually very similar. $0.50 for paperbacks, $0.75-1.00 for hardcovers. Sets are discounted. Often, toward the end of the sale they’ll do a bag deal where you can buy a grocery bag for $2.00 or so and fill it up.

Not only are these sales a great way to obtain great reading material but you are helping the library as well. They use the funds raised through these sales for improvements to the library (renovations, better equipment, more materials, etc.). As you may have guessed, I’m a big fan of public libraries and support them as I’m able.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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