Saturday, May 6, 2017
& Back to the Library Book Sale
My visit to the local library's annual book sale the other day was disappointing because I couldn't see what I was looking at. (yes, I wrote about it but I'll let you find that post) Today was lots more fun: it was Dollar-a-Foot Day! In other words, all the books you can pile up, you pay just a dollar for a 12-inch stack when the books are measured up with a ruler. It is just the very best time to give into book temptation. But I sorta surprised the elderly lady who was handling the cash box.
When she told me that I owed $3 for my stack of books and magazines, my response was, "Oh, no, ma'am, I do not." (You see, I think they shorted my measure and this is a charity book drive; I just couldn't have that.)
The nice lady asked, "Honey, do you want us to re-measure?"
I said, "Thank you, no. I came in here to spend $5, so $5 is exactly what I am spending." Then I handed her the money, and everyone laughed.
I can't afford to spend much; that's just the way life is for me. But I like to share when I can. I know I got a bargain because I got a good tall stack of books that I every intention of keeping (even if I don't have space to shelve a single one of them, and I assure you that I don't--I have no clue where they will go). And I got an equally tall stack of magazines that I have absolutely every intention of selling on eBay--I know what they are worth, and I know they will sell. (The Friends of the Library could have done the same if they had elected to do so but they didn't. My gain; no guilt.)
The other thing I liked about the book sale was seeing folks.
I talked to someone who was surprised that I knew him. I said, "You won't remember me but I was a friend of your mama's" and then we chatted like it was Old Home Week. He was glad to talk comfortably with someone. Folks around town don't care for him (with good reason) because he's odd and intense and confrontational; he enjoys the shock value of being a little offensive. But I was glad to take a moment for his mama's sake because I recall her being kind to me, and I figure that kindness was due her son in return now she has passed on.
And I talked to a shy high school girl who was afraid of not being social enough to be there. After I complimented her helping skills, she ended up following me around for a little while just to talk. I felt honored by that, and I thanked her for being nice to a goofy old lady like me.
Several people who were chatting generally kept trying to shepherd me towards the Fiction section and they suggested books that they liked. I appreciated that and was interested in what they had to say but I almost never read fiction. Less than 10% of the books on my shelves are fiction; I prefer to read about real stuff generally. In fact, I don't believe that there's a single fiction book in the batch I chose today.
Then there was the woman who may possibly have wanted the book that I picked up before she had a chance to do so. It's about Eudora Welty, a Mississippi author who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. And quite right, too, because Miss Welty was brilliant. I smiled at the woman who also wanted the book, and told her that I used to live across the street from that good lady and how we'd sometimes meet at the mailbox in the afternoon going out to post letters at the same time.
"Goodness," the woman said and she asked me what we had talked about. I told her, "The weather mostly." She seemed disappointed and maybe a little disbelieving. But I swear it's the honest truth: I did live across the street at Belhaven College. Peachtree Street, Jackson, Mississippi. And I did talk with Miss Welty at the mailbox more than once. I could also have told the book woman how another student and I were once being very silly capering around a dis-used fountain at 2 AM--somehow we thought that we could magically get it re-started by dancing but all we really did was to waken Miss Welty. I decided to keep that embarrassing story to myself (well, except that now I've just told you!).
And then there was the librarian who was checking to see if I'd found everything I was hunting. I told her that I would because I prayed before I came. She asked me what I meant. I told her that I asked God to show me everything I was meant to find and nothing that I shouldn't. She smiled. That librarian wouldn't recall but when my family moved here, one of the first things Mother and I did was to get a library card, so that librarian was the very first person to welcome me to town. She's still kind like that; and I was grateful to speak with her again.
Since I tend to shut myself in like a hermit, this seemed like a big adventure somehow. That's why I think it's better when we don't have access to too much all the time--we appreciate things more when we do have them. Like books. Like people.
I have no earthly idea what I bought! I'm gonna go enjoy my book adventure pile. And then I'm gonna list magazines.
Life is good.