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Reading With Sea

A book club on your own time

Today, I attended the semi-annual Friends of the Library Book Sale in Seattle.  These sales run twice a year for three days each.  The first day, Friday is a members only sort of sneak peak where there is a 25 book purchase limit.  Saturday is the real grand opening of the weekend where hardbacks are $1.00 and paperbacks are $0.50.  Sundays are half price days meaning hardbacks are $0.50 and paperbacks are $0.25.  Imagine, spending $100 at the sale on a Sunday – it’s basically better than Christmas.  This event is crazy both times of years.

It’s like a penny candy store for the normal reader and book buyer so imagine how it would be for the used book store owners.  They come in prepared and they steamroll you if you don’t have your feet grounded steady and your balance prepared.  They run through the doors the moment they are open and they have electronic scanners and they are relentless.  One one hand I hate them for being there and on the other hand if I owned a used book store I would be doing the same thing.  I don’t blame them for being smart I just get pissy when they get in my way.

In any case, attending this even takes planning.  One must have strategy knowing that within 20 minutes of opening it is going to be extremely difficult to move around.  This is how I spend my Saturday morning.  I dislike being in large crowds but this is one of the two times a year that I willingly place myself in the scenario.  There are over 75,000 books to choose from in every genre and category you can think of both that the libraries in the county have discharged and that have been donated.

Usually I spend hours there and often go both Saturday and Sunday.  I pack lunches and I plan routes for both days.  Today I only spend an hour looking and felt satisfied enough to go home after adding the first full bag to the truck of the car.  Here is what I walked away with today for a whopping $13.00 (I even over paid a $1):

The Gravedigger by Peter Grandbois
The Best American Short Stories 1994 edited by Tobias Wolff
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
The Preservationist by David Maine
The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
Killing Che by Chuck Pearrer
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco
Already Dead: A California Gothic by Denis Johnson
This Book Will Kill You by A.M. Homes
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
London by Edward Rutherfurd
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanne Clarke

Not bad, right?




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