Saturday, January 17, 2015

Remaindered Books

I'm quite a fan of "remaindered books". I think it goes hand in hand with the fact that I am also a fan of "not spending money". But seriously, I do love to browse those "Bargain" sections of large bookstores and see if anything new has found its way to that level of price reduction since the last time I checked… which means usually like, the day before today! Remaindered books are printed books that are no longer selling well and whose remaining unsold copies are being liquidated by the publisher at greatly reduced prices. "Sometimes at upwards of 80% off," he said while salivating. Often they appear shortly after the initial hardcover sales of a new release have given way to the newly minted trade paperback version. While the publisher takes a loss on the sales of these books, they are able to make some money off the sale and clear out space in the warehouses. So if you are able to nab a good one, it's a win-win situation! Most will have that slash of felt-tip marker ink across the top or bottom of the book's pages, near the spine, and this is done to prevent the book from being returned and mistakingly redeemed at full value.
Anyhoo -- I just wanted to say that over the years I have found terrific books -- tons of them, really, as remainders. I once thought that their banishment to the Bargain section was synonymous with the fact that they were not a good book. And while this is sometimes the case, it is not necessarily so. Some of the best books I have ever read have been rescued by me [from a certain death by shredding, no less] and thoroughly enjoyed even though their saleability did not meet the publisher's expectations. But then again, my criteria for book buying has never been in step with what most of the world is reading. I'm an odd fish, in that respect. 

So, remaindered books. Trust yourself to buy them. The fact that they're there doesn't ipso facto mean they're bad.

6 comments:

Sam Sattler said...

The bargain shelves are always my first stop on a bookstore visit and, like you, I've found some great stuff in that part of the stores. I think some really popular authors get "remaindered" on a regular basis because their publishers are over optimistic and have too large of final print run. And that's good for readers like us, because their over-optimism becomes our gain.

Cipriano said...

That is exactly it, Sam. Usually the books are in hardcover format -- the first releases. And the publishers simply printed too many of them, but they are still darn good books a lot of the times.
Happy reading to you.

Jeane said...

I always look on the bargain tables. My reading taste doesn't exactly align with the general public. So if a book isn't popular and not selling well- that doesn't mean much to me. There's still a good chance I might like it.

Merisi said...

Kindred spirits! ;-)

Stefanie said...

Yay for bargain books! I buy them all the time! When I lived in Los Angeles there would sometimes be weekend only bargain book shops. They'd rent an empty storefront for a weekend, pile it high with remaindered books and wait to be swarmed. You'd never know when or where they might turn up and most of the time the books were $5 or less. I found some really good books at those places.

Isabella Kratynski said...

Who doesn't love a good bargain!? I always check the bargain tables, and I've definitely sampled authors this way that I might otherwise have hesitated over.