If you have a list of books that have been recommended to you …
If you have a stack by your bed of books you are waiting to read …
If you have no more room on your shelves …
You still want to go to this sale. It’s a tradition of sorts here in my neck of the woods. The Book of the Month Club warehouse (in whatever its current configuration may be … the name changes often) has a sale in the fall and, if memory serves correctly, in the spring in which they take stacks of books that have, for some reason or another, been deemed extraneous and put them on carts in the aisles of the warehouse. They then invite the good people of Central PA in to purchase these tomes at the ridiculously low prices if $4 per hardback and $3 for paperbacks.
But, be careful … it’s a jungle.
As you enter, you are given a warehouse-style cart with a box on it. If you are on a budget, do NOT take a cart. You take your little cart and tool around to the first rack of books around which are swarming maybe half a dozen to a dozen people, depending on the topic. Novels have a fair number of browsers as does history. Spanish titles attracted nearly no one. You stake your spot comfortably back from the rack so as not to get in another’s way and yet be able to swoop in and grab one of the precious tomes before your competitors … er…. um … fellow customers.
If, however, you hear the sounds of warehouse personnel calling out to clear the way, it is best the heed their advice for it is entirely possible that they are pressing through the crowd with a rack labeled “Cooking/Crafts”. If so, stand back! I can not emphasize that point enought. GET OUT OF THE WAY for behind the rack will come a gaggle of ladies … mostly ladies anyway … trying desperately to see what treasures are on this heretofore unexplored rack of culinary guides.
You make your way browsing and dodging until you reach the real treasure trove …. the discard zone. See, the point of all the browsing is to grab what you think you want. When you reach the end of the book maze, it is customary to pull your cart over the side and more fully examine the books which you have impulsively grabbed from the racks. Decide that a particular title wasn’t what you thought it would be? Chuck it onto the conveniently located discard rack. Trying to stay on budget? Chuck a few books onto the rack.
If you are really adventurous, you can trail along and search these horrifically unorganized stacks for some titles you may have missed along the way or that last copy of a title that wasn’t seen anywhere else in the warehouse.
So, what did I get in all of this? Off the discard pile, I managed to find a copy of Douglas Brinkley’s The Great Deluge … a book about Hurricane Katrina that was actually released not all that long ago. Back on the miscellaneous racks, I found quite a few books on Christianity. I was totally excited to find a copy of Scot McKnight’s The Jesus Creed and Beth Moore’s Believing God. The other amazingly wonderful find was a paperback of Freakonomics, which has been on my reading list for quite some time.
Problem is … now I have to find time to read them all.