Friday, October 14, 2011
The Book Sale
Shopping at a book sale is fun but stressful. You have to get there before the doors open, because dealers and rabid (I use that word somewhat kindly) book lovers will grab the best items. There's not much time to ponder your choices. But at 25 cents to 4 dollars a book (with most at the lower end), mistakes aren't terribly costly. I scored one great find: Commager's Documents of American History, the one-volume 8th edition, which one of our instructors had requested. Only 50 cents, and in great shape. I picked up a newer edition of Fowler's, which probably isn't as good as the older one we have but was worth getting for, again, 50 cents. Also in the history section: a paperback of The Federalist Papers, Founding Sisters and the Nineteenth Amendment, and Supreme Conflict. I got lots of medical stories, which is a genre our faculty have asked for: How Doctors Think, Saving Millie, Losing My Mind, The Blood of Strangers, And the Band Played On. I only got one self-help book, a genre I usually score big on at this sale: Oprah's Live Your Best Life. I had passed it up at the last sale, and when I got back to the library I saw why my original instincts were right: there's a section on sex with a photo of a nude couple in a coital embrace. Nothing adults can't handle, but I certainly don't want to go to the mat over an Oprah title, especially when it's only peripherally relevant to our collection. So I ate the $4 expense and am thinking maybe I'll keep it under my mattress as a lumpy reminder to be more careful next time.
Otherwise, I got very little for myself: a paperback of The Catechism of the Catholic Church (another of my "lost" books) and Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point (which I might end up donating to our library after I read it). I resisted the $8 Dorothy L. Sayers-edited one-volume Omnibus of Crime again -- I've seen it at previous sales -- as well as many Best American Essays collections. I'm a sucker for essays and would just sit around getting nothing done if I bought one of those. I looked for essays by David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen, but I couldn't find any (although I did see, again, multiple copies of The Corrections). Either people are not buying those at all or, if they are, they're not getting rid of them.
All in all, a worthwhile use of my morning. Now on to catalog what I bought!
Posted by Michelene Orteza at 6:11 AM