When: March 29-April 1 2012
This place is Disneyland for me. Once a year, the Wake County Public Library system sells nearly half a million used/donated/discarded books (there are 450,000 this year) in a massive sale for many a bargain shopper to pick through. The system is disorganized (most books are spread on tables by genre), but every trip I've made there has yielded some astonishing treasures: the complete short stories of John Collier, an edition of Fritz Lieber's Lankhmar stories illustrated by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, the sequel to the original 101 Dalmatians that somehow involves nuclear disarmament and an alien "dog star" (seriously, this exists). From long-out-of-print classics to fascinating obscurities to the actual copies of books you might remember checking out from the local library as a kid, it's a feeding frenzy guaranteed to eat up your shelf space and provide you with at least a half-dozen mystery novels to give to your parents for their birthdays. Screw you, Kindle!
The event opens at 10 a.m. Thursday and runs through Sunday. Prices are $4 for hardcovers and $2 for paperbacks on Thursday and Friday, with half-off on Saturday and anything you can shove in a box for $5 on Sunday. There will be musical entertainment throughout the day Friday and family-friendly entertainment on Saturday. —Zack Smith