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Best Place to Buy Books on the Cheap 

White Elephant Sale

Sure it's only a once-a-year event, but Bay Area bibliophiles anticipate this annual March fund-raiser for the Oakland Museum of California with glee. And why not? There's literally an entire factory full of glorious junk to peruse, but if you aren't a thrift store enthusiast, feel free to skip the bric-a-brac and the vintage-ish clothing and the piles upon piles of jewelry. The book section is where it's at. On the last day of the sale, customers get to cram a large paper grocery bag full of books for only $5 — stocking up on a whole year's supply of leisure reading in one fell swoop. Offerings run the gamut from old cookbooks and romance novels to comic books and back issues of The Believer, but the selection of literary fiction — whether obscure or Oprah-certified (and often in near-mint condition) — is always particularly impressive.

Previous Winners

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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