I haven’t been to our town library for several months now. This is mostly due to an odd sense of loyalty I have toward my bookshelf. With so many books I haven’t read staring me in the face any time I walk through my living room I feel like a traitor to turn them down, drive to the library, and walk back into my abode with a new book in my hand. I can feel the glares emanating from their colorful spines. But a couple days ago I walked through the front doors of the library, my goal firmly entrenched in the front of my mind.
As I walked through the front door I made a bee-line for the fiction section marked Br-Cu, grabbed the book (Dresden Files #2), and turned on my heel as I headed for the checkout counter. I was resolute in my purpose, but as I passed out of the adult (not inappropriate) section of the library I was stopped in my tracks. Just outside the door to a small room off to the side was a sign that read, “Sale! $5 per bag.” Then in small lettering underneath, “As many books as you can fit in a bag.”
I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it. So I casually (kind of. It’s hard to be casual when you’re that excited) I walked to the door and poked my head inside. The woman at the table just inside the door was looking at a book, but I kindly interrupted her and asked her if the sign was true: that I could buy a bag of books for $5. I must have come across as either hard of hearing or mentally retarded because I continued to be unbelieving and asked her the same question, worded differently, two more times. When I had finally been convinced that the sign was a valid advertisement, and the woman at the counter was probably convinced that I was a hamburger short of a happy meal, I rushed to grab my wife who was looking at the movie section and dragged her into the room.
Were the options fantastic? For the price of $5 a bag it was pretty close. For those who aren’t multi-genre readers it might not have been as appealing, but I was in my own personal heaven. My wife spent most of her time with the children’s books and found quite a few good catches including a couple books by William Joyce, the first Mr. Putter and Tabby book, several books about cats (she’s a cat enthusiast), and several others that had good art, cute stories, or both. I found a Clive Custler novel that I hadn’t read, an Elizabeth Peters book that I first mistook for an Amelia Peabody mystery (turned out to be A Vicky Bliss mystery but I like the author enough that I’m not disappointed), and The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. The last book is by the same author who wrote The Historian, which I blogged about already. It was a phenomenal read and I posted about it a while back, so check it out to learn more.
To make a long story short I was remarkably satisfied by my accidental discovery and left with a near bursting grocery bag in one hand, and the object of my initial purpose in the other. When I walked back into my apartment I was greeted by our four cats and placed my bag of spoils on the table, jubilantly removing my plunder and giving them each a place on our bookshelf. I didn’t pay much attention to the opinions of the other books, so great was my mood, but I do believe I was met with both gratitude and contempt. Gratitude for the new members to join their literary ranks, and contempt that I would bring home more books who would be competing with each of them for the opportunity to be read.