I do think at times I have some psychic moments.
Since Thursday I have been thinking about this one library that I never go to. I think I have been there once or twice maybe in the last several years, but only to run over a pick up a book they held for me, never having the time to browse around. It’s just not in my neck of the woods, so to speak.
But anyway, anyway….so, I had been thinking about it and since my hubby and both sons were out of town on Saturday, I took my mom out to this library on a whim. But there, dropped across the front doors was a sign from the Universe!
It read, Library Book Sale!
Cue chorus of angels!!
Library book sales are the best!
All paperbacks fifty cents, hard covers, $1.00 and large hard covers, $2.00. And at this sale you had a very active and helpful “Friends of the Library,” volunteer staff who said all kinds of wonderful things such as, “Can I help you find something? Could I take those for you so you don’t have to carry them around? Would you like them in a large box or bags?”
That last statement will mean a lot to those like me who clear out trunks and bring wheelbarrows to events such as this.
My entire bill was twelve dollars. Twelve dollars!
I worked that sale like the professional I am.
Step One – seek out the miscellaneous box. This box has all the books which don’t fit in a specific category. Many novices pass over it because they don’t want to dig through, but you run the risk of missing some real gems. In the miscellaneous box I found a beautiful Funk & Wagnalls, copyright 1909, Best of the World’s Classics, edited by Henry Cabot Lodge book. I’m not a “how-much-is-it-worth-person,” but I do know that this small book is pretty hard to find and will be a great addition to my classics collection.
Step Two – look for the books you always wanted to get, but never did. I loved watching the original Carl Sagan Cosmos series on PBS all those years ago and I always thought I would buy the book, but it just never happened. I got it yesterday for $2.00.
Step Three – access Goodreads. I used to think this was cheating, because part of the fun was discovering a new author on your own, but now…well, money is harder to come by and I have grown reclutant to go exploring on my own. The lovely community of Goodreads convinced me to purchase, My Several Worlds, by Pearl S. Buck.
Step Four– the travel box. So much of the travel box is filled with out of date Michelin guide books, snooze! But if you root around in there you can find some wonderful stuff. I always look for the travel books written in the fifties and sixties. The war had ended and a lot of people had the cash for travel, so the travel books have lots of lovely photos and the prose is meant to entice.
Step Five- get a little shallow and go for looks. Let’s face it, some books are just more attractive than others. And the library book sale is probably one of the only times you can justify buying for looks only. My mother got some wonderful needlepoint books which are stunning and I got a lovely book of ghost stories with hands-down some of best illustrations I have seen in years.
Step Six– text books. I love old text books because of the marginalia. Whenever I see a text book shelf I first look for the subject matter which appeals to me. I will be passing on the chemical engineering and the geology, but I love to look in the humanities sections. Then I thumb through and look for the notes. This may be some kind of phychosis, but I love to see what others have written to themselves in textbooks. Yesterday I found a wonderful book, Reading for a Liberal Education, which is filled with notes and some kind of mysterious short hand.
Step Seven – talk to the other shoppers. Some book sale shoppers are out for blood. You know who you are. But most are wonderful and willing to swap and help you look if you help them. For example, “Excuse me, I see you have a lot of mysteries there, well, I just saw a wonderful book of Ed Gorey art in the miscellaneous box, if you are interested,” or “I’m sorry, but I can’t help, but notice you have the only copy of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, would you be willing to trade for my hardback Isaac Asimov Collected Works?”
Ah the Library Book Sale!
Good times….good times….