Sniffing Out Book Bargains by Joan Reeves

I want YOU to buy a book by Joan Reeves!

Are you a book shopper? I am. I like to find bargain books, but sometimes, these bargains can smell a bit funky.

This past week I indulged in some retail therapy at my favorite bargain spots –  TJ Maxx for some low-cost designer duds to freshen up my fall wardrobe, Home Goods for some early Christmas decorations as well as shopping for a small accent table for my weekend house, and a used book store I frequent.

I saved the little used book store situated between both of the big stores for my last stop. I never shop that street without stopping by this bookstore to see what bargains I might find. I don’t think I ever go into the bookshop without buying at least one book. Their inventory consists of a motley assortment of books from old category paperbacks of every genre to current bestsellers and hardbacks.

I’m interested in the old books. Some series books are out of print and can be found cheaper in used book stores than at used book sites online. Also, I find it interesting to buy some of an old category romance, for instance, an old Harlequin by Erin St. Clair aka Sandra Brown and read it and see how very good she was from the beginning.

Downside of Bargain Books

Unfortunately, bargain books can sometimes be, well, smelly. If they smell like stale cigarette smoke, I pass them by. Nothing gets that smell out of a book. However, if the book has the common stale musty odor, I know the trick to eradicating that nasty smell. It’s simple and economical too.

How To Remove The Smell From Books

1. Get baking soda or cornstarch.

2. Sprinkle either cornstarch or baking soda on the pages of the book.

3. Place the book in a Ziplok bag and seal it.

4. Leave it sealed up in the plastic bag for a week.

5. Remove it from the bag, shake the powder out, and the book should smell normal.

One Warning

Do NOT use baking soda on antique books because it might harm old paper. Also, do NOT use this treatment on damp books. They must be completely dry.

Post Script

A bargain book is only a bargain if it pleases all the senses. Happy bargain book hunting!

(Joan Reeves writes funny, sexy Romantic Comedy. Her books are available at all major ebook sellers. They are also available as audio books at and iTunes. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free subscription newsletter for writers, and Wordplay, a free subscription newsletter for readers. Info? Visit SlingWords or

10 thoughts on “Sniffing Out Book Bargains by Joan Reeves

  1. Wow, never thought about doing something like that. I had boxed up my girls favorite books when they were children and saved them. When they had children, I handed them their box. I think they promptly trashed all the books because they had that “old” scent to them. Now I’m wondering if a small box of baking soda with a few holes punched in it should have been packed with those books. Isn’t hindsight wonderful?


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