The auditorium is loaded with boxes of used books at bargain prices, but Troup Nightingale painstakingly put some in a premium room where the prices go from $2 to $1,500.
The publication that brings the premium price is “a reissue of Harper’s Weekly that was donated to us,’’ Nightingale said.
The collection of magazine articles dates from 1860 to 1865, but before he knew what he had, Nightingale said he was jubilant, then disappointed and, upon further review, glad again.
At first, he thought it could be an original edition that brings $300 to $400 a page, but then he learned otherwise.
But it was far from worthless.
“They only made so many of the reissue and it’s very old,’’ he said. “That’s why it’s valuable.”
Children’s books can also bring a good price, Nightingale said.
“We had a Dr. Seuss first edition 1957 copy of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, he said. “We sold it for $90. It could be worth three times that.’’
But that depends on the market, he said, and sometimes you just don’t get the right shoppers.
He also set aside a lot of Eugenia Price’s books, including one she didn’t write. It was a book from her library that she had signed, he said.
A lot of people went through the display tables glancing at titles, but Herman Bogart examined almost every book, scanning them with his cellphone that was loaded with a program that would give him prices.
Bogart sells books online from Savannah and was looking for books he could sell at a profit.
“I’m not going to scan DaVinci Code. I’m not going to scan Danielle Steel,’’ he said.
He already knows those will come up at a penny.
“It’s got to be worth at least seven or eight bucks,’’ he said.
But sometimes, he buys no matter what the scanned price is.
“I bought a book just because of the name. Jerry Sandusky,” Bogart said with a shrug. “He’s in prison.”
His wife’s father rode the trains as a hobo in his youth, so Bogart said he bought the book How to Ride the Rails at a library sale in Nahunta.
Many of the shoppers were people who just like books, who haven’t converted to Kindles or Nooks. Some bought all mysteries, others looked for books by a favorite author.
Robert Nicholson bought a stack of thick books: “Ones with the least number of pictures, the most multisyllabic words and the most boring titles.’’
Among them was “Strategic Logistics Management, Second Edition.”
Having been in Texas three years studying international relations, Nicholson said, “You learn more about what you don’t know than what you know.”
The sale continues at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the library at 208 Gloucester St. From noon until 3 p.m., shoppers can buy books by the bag for $5 each. That does not include the premium room.