One of my little pleasures is going to estate sales. I used to go to garage sales, but I generally find them disappointing. Estate sales, on the other hand, are fascinating. You get the run of someone's house and even if you don't buy anything, you learn a lot about how other people live.
Of course, you can get phenomenal deals on housewares - things people typically buy new at premium prices. As my kids start looking at setting up on their own, estate sales are where I will go to get their cookware and minor appliances.
Books are also a great value, and last week I picked up a pair of history books with great illustrations and laughably dated information. It's not just that the terminology changed, its that archeology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last 40 years. The ability to scan empty areas from space to identify otherwise impossible-to-find ruins is a game-changer.
Still they're enjoyable reads with pretty pictures. I also enjoy the use of A.D. and B.C. in dating. The stupid CE/BCE terminology is deeply dishonest. It's an attempt to secularize the Christian reckoning, but all it does is declare all other systems "unscientific." Just admit that you're using the Christian dating system.
Another advantage is the writing is better, less cluttered with jargon and important-sounding phrases. The glut of credentialed-but-ignorant scholars was only just beginning, and the humanities still had rigorous standards. It's worth noting that despite his incredible knowledge, J.R.R. Tolkien never actually completed a doctoral degree. He didn't need to; his work spoke for itself.
Now any midwit can get one and fancy that they're his intellectual superior.
Yet another sign of our culture's ongoing collapse, I suppose.