The annual Library(!) book sale marks the start of spring more than a date on the calendar, the first bloom of forsythia, or the first red robin hanging about. For three days, scores of people trek to an old warehouse in search of bookish delight.
Typically, I am not of their number.
I’ve nothing against libraries, mind you. Quite the contrary. Growing up I was of the nerdly persuasion; the library was my Camelot.
But as so often happens, things change. Suddenly, those stains happened upon while reading pages of a borrowed book were not so innocent. I would stare, the stain would stare back–it was positively disconcerting.
With that in mind, I now tend to opt for new book sales. I keep the purchase of old books to truly vintage–tomes housed in attics, or works appreciated from a library shelf. They’re old enough, you see, to have been new when books were revered … and not read in the likes of the loo.
But something about this year changed my mind. Perhaps it was the sunshine, the budding trees, or the birds’ cheerful chorus–whatever the event, I found myself heading downtown, straight toward the book sale. As I drove around the block searching for a parking spot, I eyed person after person scurrying back to their cars, arms laden with treasure. The mere sight made me giddy.
Unfortunately, the feeling didn’t last.
So many books–so many people. From the moment we entered the door, the swell carried us along. We had no choice but to partake in a bit of speed shopping–rounding the tables multiple times to see all there was to offer. It didn’t help that the checkout line extended from front to back, wrapping itself along the rear wall or that we walked into a most unfortunate odor right from the get-go. Apparently, the excitement of it all, gave a certain someone gastric distress–a condition that distressed us all.
Overwhelmed is an understatement.
Now treasure hunting requires, at the very least, two things: patience and perseverance. Patience, I have not. That would be how I managed to emerge from a book sale with nary a parcel–a fact quite criminal.
But persevere, I will.
Next time I’ll be prepared. Next time I’ll make note of the types of books I’m looking for, and I’ll not leave until I find them. I’ll plan on reading one of my books, while waiting in a line that may very well span the width of Texas. And I’ll plan on bringing a room freshener or two … for good measure.