Hearts Through History Romance Writers

Scavenging for Research Books

by | October 21, 2013 | 2 comments

Like most historical writers, I do a lot of research before, during, and sometimes even after I write a book, so I’m always on the lookout for research books and other resources. Half Price Books held a huge warehouse sale this weekend at Dallas Market Hall. All books were two dollars or less, which was a good deal for hardcover and trade paperbacks, some of which were brand new.

Bookshelves_at_the_libraryI’m a librarian, so naturally I’m very particular about how books are organized. When I visit a library or bookstore, I always reshelve books that are out of place. I simply can’t stop myself. Given this tendency, I approached the warehouse sale with an open mind, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the books had at least been sorted into loose categories (I’m using the term loose loosely here).

I immediately headed for the History section. Books were stacked in long rows three across on top of the tables, and haphazardly piled in boxes below the tables. I would have classified most of the books as political science or current affairs, but there were a few true history books sprinkled between them. I skimmed the titles on the table, turning books so the titles were all facing the same direction and righting books that were upside down or backwards as I went. I can’t help it. The librarian in me will not be denied.

After making a few good finds on the tabletops, I turned to the boxes underneath the tables. The boxes really set off the librarian in me. The books were piled haphazardly, and horror of horrors, some were even bent. So of course I had to organize all of the books into rows with the spines facing up.

In all, I managed to find ten books, but I was so exhausted from all the straightening, I didn’t have the heart to look through any of the other sections. I did walk away with a book about the history of royal roads in Great Britain, castles of Britain, defending Britain from attack, and markets and marketplaces of Britain to name a few.

Book Sale


Have you made any good research finds lately?


Ally Broadfield writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia. Her first book, Just a Kiss, is coming from Entangled Publishing in December. She would love to have you visit her website or Facebook page.



  1. Lana Williams

    A warehouse full of potential research books? Sounds like heaven, Ally! I’ve found some great books at used bookstores. It’s funny how browsing can get you interested in something you didn’t even realize you wanted to learn more about! Like the history of salt for example. 🙂

  2. Jody

    I have a list of books I recently bought on my Scotland/England trip and if any would like the list let me know at fraochban@gmail.com. There are fewer and fewer used bookstores but I found BetterWorld Books which donates all profits of sales to literacy and getting books into the hands of children and adults so I would recommend them at http://www.betterworldbooks.com/?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=branded&utm_medium=better_world_books&utm_term=better%20world%20books&utm_content=branded&TRACKING_ID_K=70fec359-4fcc-be49-4acc-0000774f42e3&gclid=COi6rPOgsLoCFa8-MgodzBoAEw



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