I’ve found an online merchant to buy my used books, and a not-too-distant used bookseller to take the ones that the online seller doesn’t want. Mostly they both want newer books in good to excellent condition. The online bookseller takes about one in five, giving good prices. You enter the ISBN of the book and the website gives you a price (it’s been ranging from a high of four dollars to a low of fifty cents) or a “not buying” message. They pay shipping; for more than five or six books, you can use Fedex which is slightly faster and provides tracking numbers. The bricks and mortar bookseller takes about two out of three books. Older paperbacks get rejected, as does any hardback without a dustcover. They go through the boxes I bring in and quote me a price for the ones they’ll take; it averages out to about fifty cents to a dollar for hardbacks and about twenty cents for paperbacks. I’ve been averaging ten dollars a box.
Most if not all of the newest books that I am willing to part with are gone; now I am getting into the older stuff. A lot of my older paperbacks will just be donated; I’ll check them with the online merchant just in case there’s something wacky in the stacks, but I won’t bother driving them to the used bookstore. There’s no point in wasting gas on things I know they won’t buy.
The Salvation Army got three boxes and a bag of assorted stuff this week. They wouldn’t take the Christmas lights and ornaments (new in box.) That was a surprise. They didn’t even look in the first two boxes, but the ornaments were on the top of the third box and the guy taking donations gruffly said “Don’t take Christmas stuff” as I walked up with it. Their website was very helpful for valuations on the donated goods and I got a receipt, which should help on the taxes next year.
I’ve made my goal of at least a bag or box out of the house daily so far this week. Oddly, it doesn’t seem like enough work when it’s just carrying donations or book boxes out to the car.
As far as our plans for most of the stuff go, there’s an auction house nearby who will take small consignment lots; we’ve got an appointment to bring stuff to them in October (first open date.) We’ll contact Replacements Limited and see if they are buying the good china and glass that we don’t want to keep. I briefly considered Ebay but decided that the stress of working to sell stuff myself made that option unpalatable. The cash we make from the sale of goods is going into a moving fund. Maybe we’ll have enough to hire movers. I’ve never done a move where someone else trucked all the stuff to the new place. Maybe, we’ll get rid of enough stuff that we won’t need to hire movers.
It’s been a busy week. Both the truck and the car have to be inspected. The car passed with minimal work. The AC was out and the check engine light was on; my mechanic (a real character) fixed the fuse that was the cause of the cooling fans not working, which was the cause of the check engine light. He freed up the stuck AC fan: “I whacked it with a hammer and rust flakes fell out; now it works! You’re gonna need a new one sometime, though.” Then he gave it back to me to drive around and reset the monitors so he could do the emissions test. I figured out what the problem was while driving around near-Philly on the hottest day of the year so far. After about 20 minutes, the system started to make a swooshing sound. By the end of the day, it sounded like a washing machine. And water wasn’t dripping outside the car; no, it was pooling in the passenger side footwell. I took it back to my mechanic and showed him: “Holy cow! The drain is plugged; we’ll blow that out with air and you should be fine.” Of course when I got to his shop the next day (they called and said it was done) he hadn’t told his assistant about the AC drain. Back up on the lift it went; they were both peering into the undercarriage. The assistant reached in and pulled; water cascaded down, showering both of them. There must have been a quart of water pent up in that system. They got it cleared, used a wet-dry vac on the footwell, and all is well, if still slightly damp.
The truck went into the shop tonight (a different one with a heavy duty lift) for inspection. It needs new brakes, and since we use it so hard we’re looking at the best possible sets. This puts the price into Holy #@$* territory. But as the service guy said, halfway down the mountain isn’t the place to be saying: “Drat, I should have spent the extra on the better brakes..” I’m hoping that the final number comes in slightly lower than the worst case estimate, but I am not holding my breath.
Quilt guild meeting was today; an interesting speaker talking about her process making art quilts and showing slides of her work. The discussion of inspiration and process was fascinating. My friends were all glad to see me and I got a number of welcome backs and hugs which was gratifying. We’re traveling so much that I didn’t rejoin for the year, especially since last year they were up against the membership cap. I’ll just pay the per meeting fee for the ones I can attend.