Fun with friends and Friends

In Other on April 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Those of you residing in Gainesville may know that there is a massive used book sale twice a year.

I am lucky enough to have friends who will wake me up in the morn with coffee and take me along with them.

It’s enjoyable because I have never seen Liz more excited than at the Friends of the Library Book Sale (“Who needs more bags? Do we all have enough bags?”), but I still don’t know how I feel about the sale itself.

After hiding my coffee thermos in a green mailbox with the help of a police officer (the drink Nazi would not let me past even with a closed lid), I ventured forth.

Though it’s a huge room, it is crowded with people dragging boxes and bags of volumes of many muted and studious shades, coughing and sneezing library dust as they go.

And though I have silly, long arms, I tend to surprise people when I reach (I do say “excuse me” to no avail), which often creates a nice domino effect of startled seniors.

But without Mr. Dewey to aid me, the titles seem to blur and congeal so I’m relatively worthless at making any useful selections. Thus I play a little game called “Which of these books would be most ridiculous to read on my flight to Tokyo?”

Winners are:
50 Elocutionary Gestures for Public Speaking with fold-out gesture chart*
Intermediate Spanish for Dummies (Bienvenido a Tokyo)
Basic Shoe Bombs*
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
Three Nights of Sin
Any hardcover architecture or art book (“Hi, can I borrow your fold-out tray? Oh, and the one next to you as well.”)

*Titles that I made up. The rest are real.

Actual purchases, totaling $7.50:
3 by Flannery O’Connor
Dubliners James Joyce
Lonely Planet Japan
Into Thin Air John Krakauer
Fodor’s France 2008
Eye of the Needle Ken Follett
The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Writings Oscar Wilde

Other things that make me uncomfortable:

1. The stereotyping of authors.

Do all Indian writers really write in the same genre. Jewish, African-American and Latino authors were totally separated into their own sections, as well. Weird. Can’t we just mix them in according to fiction, non-fiction, mystery, etc.?

2. Almost every synopsis in the paperback section. Which is why I just let Brendan pick for me.

“This is good.”
“Really? Because I totally would not go for it based on ‘His code name was The Needle. He was a tall, handsome [blah, blah] England’s most dangerous enemy [blah, blah] She was Lucy Rose, a beautiful, young Englishwoman torn between her burning desire and her binding duty [blah, blah].'”
“Oh, yeah. That does make it sound bad. But I liked it.”

  1. I wish “Basic Shoe Bombs” was real.

  2. I almost went to the sale this year! It was my birthday and I decided I’d rather spend it with my family, otherwise I’d have been there. Jealous you got to go, but not jealous that you’ll soon be reading Oscar Wilde… not worth the time in my opinion.

    • Well happy belated birthday! I heard you about Oscar, but I felt I needed to experience his pastoral and virginal puffery myself.

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