Should I resort to buying second-hand paperbacks at charity shops and fayres? Just to release them?
Does anyone else do this or is it a silly thing to do?
Says me, who just got back from hitting up the Goodwill store's "by the pound" back room for another stack of books to release. Heck, I regularly scour the local thrift shops and charity-sale outlets for books, since I like to wild-release way more books than I read. I look for nice copies of books I've already BC'ed, so I can cut-and-paste my previous journal entries, or for books that match up with upcoming release challenges, or that would fit in at the newest local Little Free Libraries - and sometimes I find books that I want to read myself, so it's a win for me all the way around.
Around here, prices for secondhand books range from 25 or 50 cents for children's books to $3-4 for adult hardcovers, but it varies a lot. The libraries in the area nearly all have ongoing book-sale shelves, with low-end prices; some of the thrift shops attempt to price their books by condition and newness, so some might cost $5 or more, but they usually have lower-end options as well. The Hannaford chain of supermarkets has set up all of its New Hampshire stores with charity-sale shops, where donated books are sold for $1 or $2 donations to a charity-of-the-week.
And then there are the occasional bag-of-books-for-a-flat-fee offer - got a bag for $5 at Hannaford's the other day, and another for $3 at a tiny thrift shop downtown.
If there are lots of yard sales in your area, you might be able to make a deal for any books left over at the end of the day, on a by-the-bag basis.
So, if you want more books for wild releasing, by all means, join the club!
Oh, and do check each book; sometimes they turn up with BCIDs inside, not always in the most obvious places. It's worth checking for issues, too, such as missing pages or badly-damaged spines or other problems. I have a fairly wide tolerance for no-longer-new books, but if they're so fragile that they can't be read easily, or so gunky that I don't want to touch them, I wouldn't bother to register them.