Monday, May 18, 2009

ON BOOKS ~ Book Junkies...

A few weeks ago my mom sent me an e-mail inviting us to come down to CT for a visit to go to their town's Library Sale. She teased it with the explanation that on the last day you could walk out of there with a bag full of books for only $5. I think she really just wanted an excuse to get us to come and that was the best she could come up with, which does not make for a very happenin' itinerary to lure Andy with. "Hey honey, want to drive down and spend the weekend with my folks going to a library sale while the Celtics and Bruins are in the playoffs?!" It was however enough of a reason for me to say yes and since Andy is the good Bumble that he is, he agreed to go (no playoff game viewing was missed in the making of this weekend).

I don't ever recall going to a Library Sale before, but my mom goes to them and used book stores all the time. She is my supplier when it comes to paperbacks. But now I was going straight to the source. Having an addictive personality, I'm not sure that it was a good idea to encourage a book addict to do such a thing.

Their town's library holds their sale at the Senior Center because they don't have enough room in the library to put on a sale of this size. We arrived late on Sunday so we missed the biggest crowds they've ever had, but apparently the line was out the door, on a rainy, cold day no less. I blamed my parents for our delayed arrival since they never re-set the clock in my room. They blamed it on my penchant for sleeping in. Whatever. I thought I had done us all a big favor by not having to stand in line in the rain. But the tradeoff for that was that the pickins were slim by the time we entered.

I was amazed by the never ending long tables stacked with books in all categories. The crowd was still large but it was kind of like being at Filene's Basement after the Bridal Gown Sale just ended. Very picked over, a little disheveled, and somewhat overwhelming. Here I was with my empty paper bag in one hand and my trusty list of To Read titles in the other, trying to see past all the Grishams to find the good stuff.

I realized that at this stage of the sale, my mother's ability to always find the perfect dress amidst the racks of crap at Marshall's would come in quite handy. While I aimlessly wandered from table to table she was quite easily filling up her bag with goodies. I managed to pluck an old hardcover off of the Classics table that was on my list and beamed with pride when my mom showed up later with the same title in hand suggesting I have a go at it - I had beat her to the punch!

Gaining confidence, I found my mojo and threw all caution to the wind, scanning through the titles from memory rather than referring to my list that was costing me time as some sweet Grampy would swoop in and snag a book right out from under me. Even Andy found a book from my list and added it to the bag. He managed to pick out a few for himself as well which was in and of itself quite the accomplishment.

As the sale was coming to a close, we began surveying the prominently placed pile of Mystery/Thrillers one last time like crack addicts looking for the perfect score, which would explain how some of the titles I brought home ended up in there. I'm pretty sure one of mom's got mixed with ours - but knowing her it will probably end up being a gem.


Sandy Nawrot said...

OMG, how much fun! I want to know what you ended up with! I love these sales, but they are DANGEROUS. I know, you don't spend alot of money, but the space they take! They are having a big sale at our downtown library right now, and I've intentionally avoided it. I have too much going on in my piles as it is. That Andy is a good guy, he even helped you shop. I enjoyed your story. Only a bibliophile would completely understand!

Kaye said...

My favorite yearly outing is the county library sale. It is massive and has to be held in the county auditorium which luckily is only 15 minutes from here. Hubby and I ge there before the doors open and usually buy 5-6 bags at $3 a bag. The fun is priceless. We read a lot of the same stuff so it's like a double bargain for us. Our library raised a little over $42,000 at the last sale. About $4,000 more than the year before.

Anonymous said...

Library sales are great! Which is why I have been trying to avoid them ;) A local college has a yearly book sale where they have an auditorium full of long tables filled with thousands of books. It's something I look forward to every year! And it's coming up in 2 weeks!!!

Alice Audrey said...

I've done the library sale thing half a dozen times. After the first, I didn't even think about making a list. I just go for pretty covers. :)

Wanda said...

Wow, that library sale sounds massive! I usually manage to pick up a few old magazines at our local library sale but haven't had a lot of luck finding books.