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
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!
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