I acquire some books
by, 12-04-2011 at 07:13 PM (1149 Views)
I got up yesterday morning, a Saturday, around 5:45. I washed my face and dressed and walked to my car in the dark. I stopped by my local Starbucks and treated myself to a tall mocha.
I then made my way down Midway to 635; from there to Central Expressway from which I exited at Northwest Highway. My destination was the Half-Price Books located there, or rather the warehouse that I knew was located near it.
Once I arrived I noticed, somewhat to my chagrin, that there was a Starbucks right next to it. I ran inside and and asked the cheerful (at 7 a.m. on a Saturday; she is to be commended) young lady behind the counter if she knew where the warehouse was.
I'd already driven around the block and hadn't seen any parked cars or lines of people, short or long. "It's right next door, the second entrance. Just take the service road!" "Thanks," I hollered and sure enough it was just as easy as she'd said it would be. And there were the parked
cars and a very small gathering of people. I settled in to wait for the requisite two hours.
I love Half-Price Books. They do some things they shouldn't. They buy remainders (no money for the authors), and they will buy your papaerbacks back-for a pittance. The amount is so small I quit taking my books to them
years ago, although I do shop there frequently. Since I live in a very small house I really need to watch the number of books I own. I'm already at my limit. But I love them so much! I enjoy shopping off Amazon, and I'm not averse to reading something with a light behind it, but truly, nothing beats
browsing in a bookstore for sheer fun. Or a library. But I wasn't actually here for myself. On most Saturday mornings Half Price Books opens their warehouse doors to teachers and homeschoolers and non-profits. Those who arrive are given two boxes which they may fill and take, for free.
When I first discovered this service people could take as many books as they could carry. It all had a rather unpleasant dog eat dog feel to it. The two box limit is a nice change. I got two boxes. I'm not sure if I got the best books I could have, but c'est la vie. "Where are the books for young adults? For teen-agers?"
I asked. Those I asked weren't sure. They thought they were mixed in. For some reason I assumed they meant with the paperbacks, so when they opened the doors at nine that's where I went. Wrong. They were mixed in with the books on the three tables marked "Children" and those were gone within about five minutes, maybe less. I waited by the tables, though, because then people sat down and
went through their boxes and put things back they didn't need. So I ended up with a decent selection of about fifty paperbacks. Now we'll see if my students like ANY of them.
Oh, I also got a few books for myself.
Once I'd finished pawing through the kid's books I checked out the classics sections, as well as biography, the regular paperbacks, and the cookbooks. This is what I found:
Thirty Minute Meals by Rachel Ray. I think this may be her first one. She looks so young on the cover. I'm pleased because I'm too cheap to buy something like this new.
Cherry by Mary Karr. I'll put it next to Liar's Club which I've owned for about two years, and which I have yet to read. It just looks so grim. Lit is next. I'm determined.
The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Thousand and One Nights, translated by Edward William Lane. I've been thinking about getting this one and here it has dropped into my lap!
Dante's Divine Comedy translated by Henry F. Clay. It has long been on my 'to read' list. Hopefully it won't be much longer.
A Hearbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I will probably read this next. It looks like the kind of thing I like.
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence. It looks interesting, but crimeny, it's massive.
City of Joy by Dominique LaPierre. Also large. I think I'll be able to read it without hyperventilating. The first page looked good. Beautiful, crunchy prose. I've seen the movie.
Made in America by Bill Bryson. I like Bill Bryson. I'm not sure abut this one. I don't generally enjoy non-fiction.
Classic Readings in Sociology, edited (I assume) by Eve Howard.
Love Letters, An Illustrated Anthology, edited by Antonia Fraser. I have to admit it was interesting to read James Joyce's letter to Nora Barnacle. Who'd a thunk?
Tis by Frank McCourt. I have yet to read "Angela's Ashes" either, but I'm feeling more confident in my ability to do so. I really want to read "Teacher Man" for obvious reasons.
Howard's End by E.M. Forrester. I'll probably try to read Room With a View first. I love the movies; now it's time to read the books.
girlbomb, A Halfway Homeless Memoir by Janice Erlbaum; I originally picked this up for my students, but I suspect it's a bit raw even for them-they're just 14.
Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child. He writes a good mystery.
The Secrets of a Fire King by Kim Edwards. I don't know anything about this author or this book beyond the fact that it's a collection of short stories.
Mockingbird Years by Emily Fox Gordon. I'm about half way through this. Her prose is gorgeous. It reminds me a bit of "Girl Interrupted". The young protagonist (the author, it's a memoir) reminds me of myself, and her childhood also reminds me a great deal of mine. It's been just the thing for this dreary, rainy weekend.
That's it. I think, all in all, it was a Saturday morning well-spent.