This is the week of our library’s semi-annual “Friends of the Library” book sale. Can you tell I’m excited? Middle Sister and I have had this week circled in red on our calendars for a month.
All year long the Friends of the Library group collects books that people donate to the library, and every six months they rent a space at a local, derelict mall where they sell those donations – along with books withdrawn from the library for their own inscrutable reasons – and sell them on the cheap. Two dollars for hardbacks, one for paperbacks. Everything’s half of that on the final day. Heaven on earth for us bibliophiles.
The mall that’s housed the sale for years is slated for demolition, so this time they had to move to another ghost town of a mall a few miles down the highway. Much harder to get to but still worth it. And when we got there, there were no directions for actually finding the sale. BUT there was a nasty-looking store called “Uncle Moe’s Liquidation Center” that had a giant book sale banner outside of it, so we tried that entrance. Turned out it was just a sneaky ploy to get Friends of the Library patrons to come in through their doors – they had a small, discount book section. Luckily, as we were complaining about this deception, a fellow “Friends” patron heard us and directed us to the REAL sale. We had to walk through the extremely smelly store to get there – it reeked like a super bad garage sale.
But we finally made it to the right place, and we followed our regular pattern once we got there. Middle Sister puts me to shame by immediately heading for the “classics” section to find such lofty authors as Homer, Forster, Wilde, and Melville. My first stop is the mystery/thriller section. Then the paperback mystery/thriller section. My favorite escapist read is a good cozy mystery, and there are always plenty to be had.
We finish by meeting up at the children’s book section, where we browse longingly through the picture books, wishing we had a reason to buy all of them.
Some moments at the book sale are always difficult for me. Any time I see a favorite, one that lives on my shelves and has become a beloved friend, my heart breaks. How can my dear book friend be orphaned here in this last-chance sale? And yet, perhaps its super low price will induce some other reader to pick it up and fall in love, as well. Still, there’s a tug at my heart as I pass these volumes by.
Today there was a bit of a misadventure when it came time to pay for our heavy bags of new finds. Middle Sister had decided to take cash in order to limit her spending, rather than bringing her debit card. She needed a loan of $1 to complete her order, so I reached into my pocket for my debit card – which I THOUGHT I had put in there before we left the van. My pocket was empty.
I had a meeting scheduled and time was ticking away, but in a panic I dashed out to the van while Sister hung on to our books. Wracking my brain to try and remember my exact motions before I exited the van, I got to it and saw, right below the driver’s side door, my debit card lying on the ground. I was both sick to my stomach and relieved at the same time. But it was right there where it must have just missed my pocket, and I can’t imagine a thief grabbing it, using it, and putting it back on the ground (or standing there to steal the info off of it and putting it back on the ground), so I got over it pretty quickly. And I’ll be checking our account regularly now to make sure there are no suspicious payments on it, just in case.
So – an exciting day in more ways than one. And now I have a few weeks’ worth of books to read – all the more enjoyable because of the great prices and the pain I went through to get them.
And I’m already looking forward to the next book sale!