This is the first of a (not regularly scheduled) “Sunday Drive” series where I will be sharing a Sunday* Drive to a new town (primarily in Oregon), visiting bookstores and other places of interest or appetite and sharing my experience in a post.
If you follow me on Instagram (@yvette_bookworlder) you are probably familiar with my semi-regular Dollar Tree book hauls and may have even spotted a book “un-haul” or two. Dollar Tree is one of my favorite sources for inexpensive books and also one of the places where I have to exercise some restraint (“Hey, it’s only a dollar” makes for easy justification, but those dollars add up).
Needing to get out for a bit this afternoon, I took a rainy Sunday drive out to make my first visit to the fourth Dollar Tree I’ve found so far in Oregon. I wasn’t expecting much, since this is one of two Dollar Tree stores on Highway 99 in Tigard and the other is one I choose not to frequent, but I was very pleasantly surprised.
Nestled between a Marshall’s and a Tuesday Morning store, the Dollar Tree at 16200 SW Pacific Hwy in Tigard, Oregon is larger than any other I’ve been in and even seems to have wider aisles. Accordingly, it has more inventory in stock – including a nearly overflowing book section.
Though primarily adult fiction, you will also find YA, middle grade and occasionally younger titles. Non-fiction and cookbooks are often in stock as well. If there are multiple copies of a book you want to purchase, compare them for condition as this can vary. Often these copies have been on store shelves for an extended period of time, then re-boxed at least once before being shipped to their current location. As remainders they may or may not have that tell-tale sharpie mark and there will often be stickers on the front cover from whatever store originally had the books for sale. These are often easier to remove without damage or residue than the “bestsellers” bar code sticker that Dollar Tree places over the ISBN of every book. Removal of these stickers ranges from difficult to impossible without damaging the cover or dust jacket, though there are occasional exceptions.
Dollar Tree is a great place to check for former bestsellers, and sometimes for books that you might not have heard of before. Today’s three finds are good examples:
The first book is a hardback copy of Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I read a library copy and gave it a 5 star review on GoodReads in 2014. I’ve stopped myself from buying a copy so many times, since I don’t intend to reread it any time soon. I gave in at the dollar price, because it is a book I want on my shelves. Those white spots on the right? Places where a store sticker was removed with almost not damage to the matte dust jacket.
The second book is one I was vaguely familiar with by title, but not the author or the subject matter. The mysterious figure on the front caught my eye and the summary on the back intrigued me. Green Mansions by W. H. Hudson was “[f]irst published in 1904 and still a best-seller after its reissue a dozen years later…[e]xploring a love somewhere between reality and imagination…a poignant meditation on the loss of wilderness, the dream of a return to nature, and the bitter reality of the encounter between savage and civilized man.”
The third book, however, was one I had never heard of as well as a bit of an “only a dollar” and “only one copy is left” buy: Everything I Need to Know About Love I Learned from a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow. The pictures alone were worth the dollar for their nostalgic interest – and what a fun addition to my home library just in time for Valentine’s Day. Just think of the many ways I can use it on Instagram…
Other, possible perks of finding books at Dollar Tree?
- Finding a copy of a book you entered a giveaway for. You didn’t win and you weren’t 100% sure you wanted to spend actual money on it.
- Finding a book that you wanted to read but will probably never get around to unless it is physically sitting on your bookshelf.
- Finding a book that your library doesn’t carry.
- The lack of guilt when purging and donating an unread book. But especially…
- Buying an extra copy for a friend or family member that you know will just love it (hopefully).
Whether you have Dollar Tree, Dollar General, or another dollar store in your area, be sure to visit their book section. Large or small, get in there and move the books around, discovering what is hidden behind those front-of-the-shelf books because you never know what treasures you might find. (See that Civil War in 50 Objects book? I was excited to find a copy at a different Dollar Tree a week or so ago.)
While I do try to support authors by purchasing books new, preferably at independent bookstores, I love finding sources for inexpensive books. I wait for coupons and sales at large chain stores, shop library book sales, scour clearance sections, and browse bookoutlet.com and other websites like christianbook.com in search of the best deals. Have another source for inexpensive books? Please share in the comments below.
This post is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Dollar Tree (they don’t even know), and is the only Sunday Drive post I plan to include them in. The cash, gas, and time associated with this post were all mine. Tigard, Oregon may be featured in a future Sunday Drive post, highlighting other places to shop for books in Tigard, as this post is primarily concerned with dollar stores rather than a specific city or town.
*I reserve the right to make these drives on a Saturday or holiday, though preferably never on a work night, while posting about them on a Sunday.