The lovely people at Half Price Books got together this weekend to make something magical for the citizens of the MSP metro. A giant clearance sale! Everything was under $3.00, and there were enough books to fill the entire State Fair Grandstand. Needless to say, I went and came back with a sack full of treats. A sack, that is, illustrated with crazed book-monsters declaring ‘WILD EYED BIBLIOMANIAC,’ which I found appropriate.
There was some really excellent people watching and some fantastic stranger-bonding-time. On the whole everyone was really excited to be there. Children drudged behind their Danielle Steel hoarding mothers; a man with flowing brown hair bought a book called ‘The Zen of CSS‘ and I chuckled with him. I kept finding myself wanting to push books onto others that I’d already read (and couldn’t justify buying for myself).
A man talked me into buying The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. He said to me (the girl with the backbreaking pile of books in tow), “Hey. Read this.”
I responded, “Uh, well, it is in the Oprah Book Club…” intent on gauging his response. He got defensive and snarky and I immediately liked him even more than I had. I thanked him and his mere demeanor was enough to persuade me to spend the two bucks.
Lately, I’ve been reading Balzac and The Little Seamstress by Dai Sijie, which is about the re-education of the Chinese in the 1970’s. Two city boys are banished to the mountains to re-learn the value of labor and traditional ways of the mountain folk. They find a suitcase full of banned western books, and are awed at the stories they find of love and spontaneity and political freedom. Anyway, I noted the connection as I was shopping and I felt very lucky to be where I was.
Someday I am going to have to buy another massive bookshelf to fit my treasures, and this sale has brought me one step closer to that happy day.