At a garage sale in Glens Falls the other day, I found a first edition of Barack Obama's "The Audacity of Hope" in very nice condition. I'm not sure it has been read even once. It cost $1, and it is selling online for from $10 to $400. The price variation online is ridiculous. Probably the $10 books aren't in great shape and the $400 books are overpriced. Signed copies start at a bit over $400 and go up from there. Unfortunately, the one I found wasn't signed.
Then, we went to Long Island for a long weekend and, since my cousin's wife was heading to garage sales, I followed, and found a couple of cool paperbacks: "A Cellarful of Noise," by Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager, published by Pyramid Books in 1965 and selling online for $20-$100; and "The Last Cop Out," by Mickey Spillane, published with a racy cover in 1973, selling online for $1-$70 and probably worth right about $1. But I love the audacious cover, which fits Spillane's shameless style.
Both paperbacks were free, which is hard to beat, especially in the context of the rest of the stuff at the fancy Long Island garage sales, which had prices never seen in the Glens Falls area. My wife noticed three nice paintings, for example, but when she asked how much they were was told $500 -- each. Then they wanted $250 for a rug we liked, but not that much.
But the books were free! There's no accounting for taste.