Annual Times Colonist Book Sale Haul

      8 Comments on Annual Times Colonist Book Sale Haul

Our favourite book sale has once again come and gone. Sometimes I’m sad that it’s only a once a year event, but then I look at our bookshelves quivering on the edge of failure, and I remember why it’s probably for the best.

A local newspaper here has been running this event for the last twenty years, and it’s always a nice reminder that there’s still a love of books out there. Saturday and Sunday the sale is open to everyone, with books ranging between $1 and $3. On Monday, it’s open to schools and non-profit organizations to take what they want for free. Any remaining books are then sold to a company in California. In the last twenty years, the sale has brought in 4.7 million dollars, which all goes to local literacy programs.

So while this book haul could be seen as rampant consumerism gone amok, considering I already have shelves full of unread books, I like to think of it as a charitable act.

Book sale haul!

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  1. Poems by Robert Frost: A Boy’s Will; North of Boston by Robert Frost
  2. The Abbess of Crewe by Muriel Spark
  3. Conversations by César Aira
  4. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  5. Bullfighting by Roddy Doyle
  6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  7. A Good Year by Peter Mayle
  8. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  9. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
  10. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  11. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  12. Shopgirl by Steve Martin
  13. Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome
  14. The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
  15. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  16. The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
  17. Baudolino by Umberto Eco
  18. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach


  • I’m definitely taking chances on a few of these, but if there’s ever a time to take a chance on a book, it’s this event.
  • I don’t care about baseball, but I’ll hopefully still enjoy The Art of Fielding. I was in the mood for some campus fiction.
  • Shopgirl possibly falls under the category of ‘chick lit’, but it’s written by Steve Martin, so I thought I’d give it a try.
  • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency possibly falls under the category of ‘middle-aged women lit’, but not knowing anything about it, I could easily be wrong about that.
  • I was planning to pick up more classic fiction, but I was apparently in a contemporary literary fiction mood yesterday.
  • I love science fiction and fantasy, but I almost never leave this sale with any. I think it’s because that section is alphabetized, where as the rest of the sale is mainly just a hodgepodge of books. When they’re all mixed up like that, I enjoy digging through and discovering gems, but when I see them in order I tend to drift towards authors I know and barely glance at the rest.
  • I don’t go in with a list, as that just never works for me, but I did have the goal of picking up any Muriel Spark novels I could find. Sadly I only came across one tiny novella.
  • I picked up a lot of Man Booker Prize winners and nominees this year.
  • I discovered after getting home that Bullfighting is actually a short story collection, which tend to not really be my thing, but we’ll see.
  • Most of the authors are not from America or the UK.

I’ve already read Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), but I loved it and wanted a nice physical copy. I have a feeling I’ll be re-reading it in the next couple of years. This one was great – good condition overall, nice wrap-around cover art, thick opaque pages, and multiple introductions, including a couple from the author. It’s a Time Reading Program Special Edition, which I was unfamiliar with, but when I got home I realized I also had a copy of The Martian Chronicles in that edition. I will have to watch for more.

It as a fun day, and as per tradition, we went for an unhealthy afternoon breakfast after the sale. I meant to take a photo, but my hunger overwhelmed me.

8 thoughts on “Annual Times Colonist Book Sale Haul

  1. Silvia

    I have exactly that same edition of Three Men, a book I’ve read twice and I’ll read more.
    That’s a nice haul. I enjoyed Robert Frost poetry this year for the first time, The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a fav too, and I have that Number One and a few others in that series but have not read them yet.
    I’m looking forward to your reviews on those books, and excited about you finding new good titles.

    1. Rob Post author

      It’s a great edition. Very happy with it. I’d like to collect more of those Time Reading Program editions.

      I’m still trying to find my footing with poetry, and most people seem to really like Robert Frost, so I thought I’d give him a try. I came out of school with the impression that he was a nature poet, but I’ve been told that’s not quite the case, so I’m interested to read a bit more.

      Looking forward to reading all of these!

  2. Ruthiella

    I love looking at stacks of books. Of all your purchases, The White Tiger jumps out at me. I loved, loved that book. The writing had such energy.

    Also, I very much enjoyed The Sisters Brothers. It had fantastic characters and just the right balance of humor and horror for me.

    Happy reading!

    1. Rob Post author

      That’s great to hear! I’ve already started reading The White Tiger. I’m only about 30 pages in, but I’m already really loving the writing style. The writing having energy is a great way to put it.

      I wasn’t sure about The Sisters Brothers, so I’m happy you liked that one too. The author was born here on Vancouver Island, which is what piqued my interest a bit initially, and I thought the western theme could be fun.

  3. Geoff W

    Definitely not rampant consumerism and definitely giving to charity! I love the local library book sales for these reasons. I read a few of McCall-Smith’s agency books and they were interesting, I didn’t read the whole series, but the first few were good. I can’t wait to hear what you think of Elegance of the Hedgehog. I remember enjoying it, but also remember struggling perhaps because it’s translated? I feel like a second read might clarify/highlight more things to me.

    1. Geoff W

      Also, did you switch to WordPress? Was it always WordPress? I’ve been MIA for almost a year and I don’t remember it being this platform. Either way I’m glad to be back and reading and commenting again!

      1. Rob Post author

        Glad things have calmed down enough for you to come back!

        This site has always been on WordPress. Once I’m comfortable, I’m too lazy to move. 🙂

    2. Rob Post author

      I’m not sure what I’ll think of Elegance of the Hedgehog. I was lukewarm, but interested, in her first book Gourmet Rhapsody, but I’ve heard this one is much better.

      I’m always looking to read more Scottish authors, so I thought McCall-Smith was worth at least checking out. The blurb was much different than what I had previously imagined, so I’m more excited to get to it now.


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