Friday, March 4, 2011

50,000 Books

That's about what my TBR pile looks like after my patronage of a local used book sale this afternoon.  (I know. I really have no business bringing any more books into this house right now. But, well ....)

Our local branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is hosting their annual book sale ("Dollars for Scholars") this weekend. The majority of books were in the $1 - $3 range, and proceeds go toward college scholarships for deserving high school students as well as women who are returning to school late in life. My friend Dina was a beneficiary of AAUW's generosity, and they were (and still are) a very strong supporter of the organization I previously worked for.  So, a good cause, and their ads stated that there were 50,000 books available for the taking.  My resistance was nil. 

So this morning I started working much earlier than usual, finished up a bit earlier than usual, and headed up to the sale while the kids were in school. 

Imagine your average, regular suburban mall.  Now imagine the majority of said mall lined practically end to end with tables of used books, all sorted neatly into categories.  You meander along the mall, and in between the kiosks for sports memorabilia and decorative cell phone covers, you find table after table after table of books for the perusing. 

I know I should have taken pictures, but truthfully?  I was a little overwhelmed. (50,000 books will do that to you.)  And I had a bit of a time constraint and I wanted to use the time wisely. Plus, the ladies and gentlemen volunteering at the sale were absolutely delightful to talk books with and so enabling helpful, offering to hold books "to keep your hands free for browsing."  (One lady, every time I picked up another novel, whisked it away to the "Mallissah" pile.)

Which, after a while, looked like this:


This represents my haul from the fiction section, literature, and "award winning children's books" (that would be Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson). 

The Best American Short Stories 1990
The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007
Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Case Histories, by Kate Atkinson
Away, by Amy Bloom
Bombardiers, by Po Bronson
The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins (I've since discovered this is a freebie on the Kindle, so it is quite possible this might be donated back to the AAUW)
The Garden of Last Days, by Andre Dubus III
Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn (my friend Amy - not the blogger - has been raving about this one ever since I've known her.  I was ecstatic to see this one on the table!)
What is the What, by Dave Eggers
Long Quiet Highway, by Natalie Goldberg
Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
The Collected Stories, by Amy Hempel
Rosie, by Anne Lamott
Hard Laughter, by Anne Lamott
The Group, by Mary McCarthy
Enduring Love, by Ian McEwan
The Music Room, by Dennis McFarland
Half in Love, by Maile Meloy
Wise Blood, by Flannery O'Connor (who, as you know, I adore ... but somehow never read this one!)
Anil's Ghost, by Michael Ondaatje
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, Stories by ZZ Packer 
1185 Park Avenue, by Anne Roiphe
The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell (because Florinda raves about this)
Push, by Sapphire
The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield
By the Light of My Father's Smile, by Alice Walker

Wait, there's more.  (It was like the tables kept on going and going.  I didn't even stop at the last group of tables because it was getting ridiculous.)  Here's what I came home with from the music table (they had CDs, vinyl records, VHS tapes and DVDs), sociology, gender, history, biography, and local interest. 


Why, yes, that certainly is Barry Manilow's The Complete Collection and Then Some 4 CD box set.  At $10, there was no way I was leaving that there.  (The lady was like, "You do know this is ten dollars, right?"  I replied with, "And well worth every penny.")

I love, love, love Barry Manilow. 

On the Local Interest table, I spotted Beth Kephart's Ghosts in the Garden.  I grabbed it, knowing that my friend Jini had lent her copy to someone who never returned it, and that this would be a nice surprise for her. 

Rounding out this section were the following:

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson
Are You Somebody? The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman, by Nuala O'Faolain
Flux: Women on Sex, work, Love, Kids, and Life in a Half-Changed World, by Peggy Orenstein (because I really want to read her book Cinderella Ate My Daughter, and I think that when I do, I will want to read this one)
In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution, by Susan Brownmiller
The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind The New York Times, by Ssuan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones
Andrew Carnegie, by David Nasaw

What's fun at these sorts of sales is evesdropping on the conversation around you.  The people next to me at the Poetry table were discussing how to rearrange the furniture in their living room to accommodate all the books they were bringing home.  (I didn't feel so bad after that, but I have no room to talk since we're moving and 34 more books are not what I need.)

Finally (I know, there's more!) I got three cookbooks, but I'll tell you about them in a Weekend Cooking post. 

37 books (plus Barry!) for $74.25.  That's an average of $2.00 per book ... and it all goes to charity!


copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

12 comments:

Adam said...

Woo hoo! That's what I love to see!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, I could read those books. I had to quit going to used book sales. I went too crazy. I never felt bad about it though. (Why would I?)

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I would have been drooling!! What a wonderful fund raiser!!

robin elton said...

This is one of my favorite weekends of the year. I always go on the last day & fill up a bag... per person (that's 5 bags, folks). And you may well have bought MY copy of Devil in the White City, I donated mine! LOVE that book and can NOT wait for Leo DiCaprio's movie!

Florinda said...

Looks like an afternoon well spent (pun totally intended). I've read a few of those - and I'm very happy that you picked up a copy of The Sparrow! I hope you'll get to it sooner rather than later, because I'm eager to know what you think of it.

Lisa said...

I have yet to find a good library sale in South Dakota. I am jealous, even though we do NOT need more books.

Allie said...

What an amazing haul! I have no qualms about going crazy at library sales or used book sales where the proceeds go to charity. I know that my money is going to a good cause! :)

Amused said...

You got some awesome finds! My library does this once a year and I go every year and some years I buy a ton too! You know, sometimes there is just too much good stuff :)

Elisabeth said...

You lucky duck! So jealous! You picked some great reads! Enjoy!!!

Judy said...

Geek Love is great! You'll be happy you discovered it. I'm trying to get rid of books--because I'm sure my children will curse me some day if THEY have to get rid of them. And they do clutter up the place. I'm Moira's mom, btw.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

What a good price! i love sales like that.

Molly said...

Oh - I absolutely LOVE used book sales of any kind.

Our county library has this kind of HUGE drive in June and November. They also line an entire shopping mall with tables and tables of books - most of which are 50 cents to a dollar. I am already anticipating the June sale and saving my pennies for lots of bargains :)