Pulp Fiction: Are Big Name Authors Being Pulped At Your Library?

Last week, on my way out of the library, I stopped as I always do at the book sale display.

“Take whatever you want, even if you’re not sure!” called the lovely librarian, Ann. “Don’t worry about the prices on the sign – you’re a regular and we’re going to pulp them at the end of the week, anyway.”

How naive am I. I looked at the bookcase in front of me, full of not just those one-hit wonders and library oddities but also big name authors. And then I looked at Ann. “Pulped?”  I squawked.

“Yes.” Ann walked over to me. “I know it seems a shame, but we can’t get rid of them fast enough; we’ve got so many books. If we send them to be pulped, they give us money by weight, so at least the library makes some money.”

These were the books I rescued from pulping, having emptied my purse and left behind several well-known titles because I’d read them already:


Can you believe it? Erica James? Sarah Morgan? Freya North? Harriet Evans? Sophie Kinsella?

Some libraries, like ours, always have a small bookcase of books and back issue magazines for sale; others have a huge sale every so often. There are hardbacks, paperbacks, fiction and non-fiction, and it’s a great way to catch up with favorite mags too. If you’re a writer, it’s a great way to do some reasonably-priced research on potential magazine markets, as recommended here by Simon Whaley.

I urge you to get down to your local library and make sure you scoop up some bargains, saving them from a pulpy fate. You may not be helping the authors, but you will be helping the library. I’m betting the 50p our library charges per paperback is more than they get for its weight and it seems criminal for these books to be pulped!

I’m off for a read 🙂




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