While out on a Christmas-gift mission (don't ask, don't tell) Saturday, I came across a book sale being held in what once was a car dealership showroom. Tables and tables of books- hard cover 50 cents, paperback 20 cents. A box for 5 dollars. They were mostly out-of-date titles, a little real literature, lots of bad cookbooks and craft books. Ten year-old bestsellers (Colin Powell biography) and many, many self-help books. I did find an encyclopedia of witchcraft (sort of a self-help book, I guess) and a really good anthology of New Yorker stories.
There was a couple who were talking to the proprietor, I overheard the story behind this unusual sale; he had bought them a few years ago from someone going out of business, a semi-truck full, and now he was leaving it as well. He had planned on selling here until the new year. The couple he was talking to made him an offer for the whole lot and he accepted, so he announced that he was closing in 45 minutes, and then the sale would be over. He looked very happy.
If the selection of books were just a little better, I might have felt sad (and I would have bought a lot more books!) Some books might be better used as mulch, or fuel, or even landfill.