Friday, April 13, 2012
Used book sale fever!
So yeah, today was the day we look forward to all year (well, one of the days): the massive annual used book sale thrown by the PTA of a neighboring school district. This crazy book party takes place in a huge gymnasium and every year I swear I am going to bring a cart, or a wagon, or a stroller, or some kind of wheeled vehicle to tote my book booty but what I end up doing is bringing four large tote bags (including one of those big blue ones you buy at Ikea—the one that could hold at least two small children and a bunch of swedish dishrags), thinking I'm not going to need to use them all, and then what happens? I end up filling all four ginormous bags before I've even worked my way down the first couple of rows and I have to drag them everywhere (because they don't have wheels!) and it's very painful and inconvenient for everyone. How I miss the rickety shopping carts that were sold on practically every street corner in Brooklyn! Here in Texas the concept of buying a shopping cart is difficult for most people to grasp: Why would you need one when you drive everywhere? Well, good point. You don't need one, except at this particular book sale, and one or two others I can think of.
I logged a little over two hours of throwing elbows with the usual library sale crowd—teachers, home-schoolers, romance-loving seniors, scanner-wielding amazon book seller trolls, beleaguered mothers using their strollers to hold books, toddlers trailing in their wake. I never see any other vintage book picker a-holes like me, except for my homey at Vintage Kids' Books my Kid Loves, who gets so worked up by this sale she's ready to vomit within the first 15 minutes. We try to work in tandem, more or less, but it's impossible to pull books for each other when you have to push them around them gym like Sisyphus and his boulder. She managed to get a great haul, much of which she has wisely already posted on her etsy shoppe, whereas I have pointlessly and profitlessly started instagramming mine here. Should I go back tomorrow? But tomorrow is our "city-wide garage sale"! Sunday for the bag sale? Hmmm...
Well, I ended up going back on Sunday for the bag sale. I was skeptical at first because you had to buy their shopping bag for $15 ($10 for each additional). It didn't seem that cheap, right? But then when I started stuffing them with all kinds of scores, including a weird Christmas book by Richard Burton (and signed by him!), I realized it was totally worth it and that those HEB totes hold a lot more than you would think. There's a couple copies of A Christmas Story over at Abebooks ranging from $400 to $500, not that I think there's much of a market for Christmas books by old-school Hollywood stars. Theoretically, I came out waaay ahead, and that's enough for me.