Today my husband and I are celebrating our one-year anniversary. To kick off our anniversary weekend, yesterday morning we went to our first library sale in our new city. At $2 a bag, how could we resist? Between the two of us we ended up stuffing 17 books (mostly hardcovers) into an undersized brown paper grocery bag. Must’ve been all the packing practice I’ve had lately! Here are the new volumes I’ve welcomed into my home:

Anniversary Library SaleThe Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett

The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer

Transparent Things by Vladimir Nabokov

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Run by Ann Patchett

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

It’s appropriate that we started our first anniversary weekend with books, as they’ve been a theme throughout our relationship. We have completely opposite tastes in reading; for the most part, anything I read, my husband doesn’t, and vice versa. Still, even if we don’t share literary tastes, books have always brought us together.

During one of our first conversations, my husband recommended Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage to me, which I promptly purchased and read. We didn’t live in the same city until a year and a half into our relationship, so every time I visited him, we made a trip to Half Price Books and combed the clearance section for bargains. On one of his trips to Boston to see me, I organized a Boston Used Book Tour, during which we made our way to seven different used book shops around the city. When we finally moved to the same city, we began haunting library sales ( is our favorite site!). We’ve been known to double back if we drive past an unknown independent bookstore while driving; when we visit his family in India, I always have to see what treasures I can find there. (Last time it was a new copy of Nick Hornby’s The Polysyllabic Spree for about $2!) We even spent time on our honeymoon in Maine browsing second-hand books at antique shops. I love that we share our bibliophilic tendencies.

As for reading, I’m wrapping up my Banned Books Week picks (a tad late!). I finished The Great Gatsby and Speak, am nearly finished with The Rights of the Reader, and have passed the halfway point in The Catcher in the Rye. I’m participating in my first read-along this month (Dueling Monsters, Round II!), for which Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray awaits me. I also got two books out of the library I can’t wait to read. It looks like October is shaping up to be a wonderful month!

Join the Conversation


  1. You’re telling me that you bought all those books for just 2 dollar? There are such great titles in that pile. I want to move to where you live just to be able to visit that librarysale (and the bookshop you mentioned)!

    Congratulations on the one year anniversary today, that is such a milestone and reading about happy marriages always makes me feel warm inside.

    1. Yes! Amazing, no? Oftentimes it’s a 2-day sale, with hardcovers $2 and paperbacks $1 the first day and then a whole bag for $5 or $2 the second day. For some reason, this library was selling great books — mostly hardcovers — in excellent condition for $2 a bag without bothering to have the usual first day!

      Thanks — ours is definitely a happy marriage. I’m shooting for many more anniversaries after this one!

  2. Yay for library sales!!

    I’ve read Transparent Things. I really like Nabokov usually, or perhaps about 2/3rds of the time – I’ve read about 15 of his books now. Transparent Things was not at all my favorite, though he did have an interesting use of second person narrative. The story itself was one I didn’t like. I hope you like it more than me, or if you don’t, that you give him another chance. 🙂

    1. I adored Lolita, so even if I don’t like Transparent Things, I’ll give Nabokov another shot. The book was, after all, about 12 cents 🙂 I’d be curious to know what your favorites are among his books!

  3. Oh my gosh, that is an amazing list of books! I am so jealous! I need to see when our library does their sale. We have a pretty big library system, so I bet I could get some good stuff. Is there anything better than a chance at cheap books?
    Happy anniversary!

    1. Check out It lists a crazy number of library sales. If you’ve got a good library system, I bet there are a ton of sales…and lots of good books to score! Happy hunting!

    1. I’m pleased; it can be hit or miss at library sales sometimes. This was definitely a good one! Thanks!

  4. Congratulations on your anniversary! I had to laugh when you said your husband and you have different reading tastes, but share a love of books. That’s my husband and me too. We figured out that in the 20 years we have been together, there isn’t a single book that we have both read. Hard to believe, but true.

    I am seriously craving a book sale. Our library’s sale was in May or so, and I wound up getting 56 books for $12.

    Still, I want more. 🙂

    1. Thanks! Wow, I’ll have to compare books with my husband and see if there’s one we’ve both read. That’s crazy that in 20 years you’ve never overlapped in your reading! Check out That’s how I find most of my library sales. $12 for 56 books is awesome! But yes…always room for more 🙂

  5. Happy anniversary!

    I think I’ve got my boyfriend to go to a bookstore willingly once, so I’m envious of your shared habits!

    I’ve only read A Northern Light of the books you’ve posted but I know enough to know that that’s an awesome lot of books you’ve got there. I can’t believe the price, and they look in very good condition, too!

    1. Thanks! At least your boyfriend doesn’t seem to mind if you’re book-obsessed, which is good. I was blown away by the price and condition. I figured for $2 a bag it would be a lot of mildewed paperbacks I’d never heard of. Needless to say, I was extremely pleasantly surprised!

  6. What an impressive haul! I haven’t read anything in this but I loved Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro (which I warmly recommend!).

    The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite novels and I saw the movie of Speak, which was really good. Off to read your reviews, then!

    1. I’ve heard great things about Never Let Me Go, which is why I picked up The Remains of the Day when I saw it at the book sale. Hopefully it’s also good 🙂

  7. Happy Anniversary! Your book sale haul is very impressive, too. Wish I could join in for The Picture of Dorian Gray… still may if I manage to get caught up. Enjoy the read-along.

    1. Thank you! I was planning to get to The Picture of Dorian Gray sometime in the near future anyway, so the read-along fit in pretty well. Otherwise I might have had to skip it. So many books…so little time!

  8. Happy anniversary! At first I thought you said 17 BAGS, which would’ve been quite a feat!

    That’s so cool that you share a love of books…my boyfriend has read 1 book in the 18 years we’ve been together. And that’s only because he was stuck in Costa Rica with no tv and no surf.

    1. Thanks! Um yes, that would have been amazing…17 bags of books for $2? Yes please!

      I love that my husband and I both love books. I also think it’s pretty cool when a couple can respect one another’s interests (obsessions?) even when they aren’t shared, which sounds like it’s the case with you (and books) and your boyfriend (and surfing)!

  9. Happy Anniversary! I ran into your blog through goodreads! I can’t help but drool over your loot! Ishiguro, Marquez and Zusak! I wish I lived in your city. *envy envy*

    By the way, Speak is also one of my favorite books. Crazy to find it in the banned list.

    1. Thanks! I hope the other library sales around here are as good!

      Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either. Especially after I’d read it! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Well your post is not going to be good for my TBR list! What an awesome link to Book Sale Finder! I’m already looking to see what I can acquire on the cheap! LOL! I love your post. That’s really great that you and your husband are both readers. I lucked out. My husband is a reader and we somewhat share reading tastes which helps keep our shelves from completely overflowing!

    1. It’s a marvelous site! Glad to share it. We don’t have much overlap, but at least we get our books used mostly, which doesn’t break the bank like all new titles for two voracious readers would!

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