Thursday, July 19, 2018

Dirty books

That's the unholy truth. Books are like money in that that they really retain dirt.

After work I went to the local high school and sorted books for the library's annual book fair. I handled poetry, lots of poetry -- including self published works, poetry in Spanish, and a collection of Keats and Shelley. Scholarly books that I'm pretty sure won't sell, like a study of the intersection of law and medicine and a volume that compares/contrasts existentialists. Bodice-ripping romances set against the backdrop of war (the wars change but the cleavage on the cover remained the same).

When bending and carrying began to bother my knees, I switched to stacking empty boxes. After an hour, I went home. I'll go again over the weekend. After all, it's estimated that 100,000 books will make their way to the sale tables.

Every day that I work, I get "paid" with the paperback of my choice for 25¢.* I didn't see anything that called out to me especially at the biography/memoir table, and I didn't even peek at the mystery section. There's time for that between now and July 27.

*The volunteer coordinator told me with a wink that hardcovers are "negotiable."


  1. How fun! The book sales at the local libraries are among my favorite summer events. My mom (a former librarian) volunteers at our local high school library's event (it's also the community library). All of the volunteers are aging and not wanting to do as much or not able to so they are limiting donations to fiction. I think it's a mistake. They used to make a lot of sales to home schooling families when they accepted textbooks. They'd prefer no biographies, cookbooks, or well, anything but fiction. They always get some of the other which they put on "FREE" tables with a donation jar. This year's fiction was pretty predictable...virtually all of the paperbacks were romances and the hardbacks were all from a handful of best selling authors or complete unknowns. The reason for the limits on the donations is supposedly the difficulty in getting rid of the unsold books. They used to just give them to another library's book sale, but that library stopped having sales. However, I heard the president of the organization of volunteers saying that they would be sending the books to two different libraries this year, one had had a fire and lost their entire collection. Surely there are other libraries that could use help each year? Anyway, good on you for volunteering and sweet getting paid in books!

  2. I miss book sales and browsing used book stores. But I can't give up my Nook! I love it more!


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