Made my regular trip to the Lifeline Bookfair, and picked up a large swag of chess books. Having grabbed the books I wanted, I thought it was only fair to share some tips on getting what you need.
For those who are unfamiliar with the Lifeline Bookfair, it is one of those Canberra activities that 'everyone' does. It is held twice a year and is basically a giant second hand book sale raising money for Lifeline (I assume other cities have similar book fairs, but I haven't been to any). It runs for 3 days, and is currently held at the Canberra showground (having outgrown previous venues).
Firstly, you need to get there early. Although they don't put all the books out at once, for small collections like chess, most of the books are on the table when it opens. I usually get there about half an hour before the start, but even then I am probably number 300 in the queue.
If you haven't been there before, get yourself a floor map. Normally the chess books are in the same location (alongside Bridge, Poker and just down from Sports), but newcomers still have to locate them.
Thirdly, claim your territory. This normally involves slowly moving along the collection of books in a way that says "Wait till I've finished". Today I was trailed by a gentleman who simply dumped most of the chess books into his bag. However as I was there first, he had to wait until I had taken what I needed.
And that is another point. You should only take what you need. First time through I probably took 4 or 5 books (which I didn't have), leaving the rest for other buyers. As much as I have multiple copies of certain books, it is also important to let other collectors have a chance. Think of it as book buyers 'karma'.
And in fact I was a little lucky, as after the guy following me had pillaged the collection and departed, one of the helpers produced a second box of chess books from under the table and replenished the collection. And I probably got more good books the second time round.
Finally, it is worth having a chat to the helpers while they are restocking. In this case I was told that this was the second and last set of chess books, and so I was able to leave, knowing my shopping was complete for another 6 months.