Friday, April 16, 2010

Book sales were a major highlight of my childhood, serious business that involved bringing your own boxes and arriving early enough to get a good spot in line before they opened the doors, then splitting up and heading for the spots where whatever genre we were after had been in previous years. The YMCA used to have a back room where they'd hold your boxes while you were still looking for more, then we'd reclaim them and sort them into stacks to make sure that between the two of us, Mom and I didn't have three copies of the same title.

That was back in the days when book sale books still went for ten cents and you could trade them in to the used bookstore for more books without handing over large amounts of cash, so as a kid I'd get a hundred books at a sale and it would feed the never ending cycle of reading books and trading them for more books and waiting for the next book sale.

I stopped going to as many book sales when the prices started climbing, and gave them up altogether after the kids came along. It takes energy to defend your box of finds from rude people who claim not to have realized it was yours, even though you had a grip on the edge. I don't have the energy for that and holding a baby, much less the nerve to take a pack of toddlers into one of those crowded madhouses. It was like Black Friday with books.

There was the memorable sale where I found an almost complete set of the 1935 edition of the Book of Knowledge (I think that's the right title) on the free pile. I was there alone with my two year old and pregnant and I was going to get those books to my car several blocks away if I had to make a dozen trips carrying them two or three at a time. A nice old man with a hand truck came to my rescue.

And there was the one we went to when I was in labor with Heath. After two days at five centimeters, we got bored with timing the contractions and wanted to find something fun to do. Have I mentioned that I met my husband in a bookstore?

Last week, I saw a flyer for a book sale at the legion hall in town, all items twenty-five cents. That's when I realized how clueless my kids are about the book sale thing. Of course you've got to be there early! Yes, just like the good fabric sales at Joann's. We were actually an hour late, but there was hardly anyone else there, so I'm not sure we missed out on much.

I got the boys some old Time Life books on airplanes and volcanoes and a couple of books that were green (we might need to work on our selection process) and found myself a bunch of those old Alfred Hitchcock anthologies that I hope will ease my old time radio withdrawals. And I found a copy of The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald, a book I'd been hoping to track it down since Heath and I watched the movie a couple of weeks ago.

That's why my quilting project for today didn't get done. I've been happily curled up in the corner of my couch, reading about chicken farming in the Pacific Northwest.

The blocks I'm neglecting are disappearing 4 patch, which I learned from this tutorial. They're much quicker and easier than they look -- if I wasn't distracted by chickens, I'd have the little top done already!

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