The time has come at last - I am giddy with excitement! On Thursday, November 19 at 10:00 a.m. the main library is once again having The Big Book Sale. Even better news...after my old firm merged with the new one I now work only one block away from the main library. I don't have to get into the car and drive for miles and fight for a parking space blocks and blocks away. I was a neophyte at the last big book sale and I came ill equipped, i.e. uncomfortable shoes, nothing in which to tote the books, and I had not practiced bending and getting up (not a small consideration for a woman "of a certain age.")
I learned to arrive early, with something to read to pass the time. However, there was such a friendly crowd last time that I found myself having a very pleasant conversation with the elderly gentleman standing in front of me regarding the virtues of Johnny Mercer's song lyrics. He was the one who told me, "You should have brought a bag to tote your books home, young lady." I seldom use the word "tote," it's such a southern expression, I thought him simply charming. The fact he called me "young" didn't hurt either.
When the big double doors were opened to the room where the big book sale was being held, I simply let myself get swept along with the tide. I landed at the cookbook table and my first grab was the huge and heavy "The Way To Cook" by Julia Child. A $50 book that I bought for $1. All hardbound books were $1 and all paperbacks were .50. Since I didn't have a tote, my purchases were limited to what I could carry (although when I got to the cashier, I was given some plastic grocery bags). This year I will be armed with my canvas grocery shopping bags emblazoned with Kroger or Publix - each strong enough to hold a huge frozen Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmings and, so I figure, up to the job.
I still have to train, however. Many of the best books are in boxes on the floor and one must get down and dirty, and then be able to stand up. I don't have a lot of time to work out, but some squats are in order for the next few days. Experience has also taught me not to carry a purse. It gets in the way and I am absent minded enough to set it down and lose track of it. I think a jacket with a zippered pocket for the cash, my glasses on a chain, and my hair secured in a pony-tail are precautions which will work well for me.
I wonder what treasures await. I already feel the thrill of the hunt - like one of the big cats in the wild, stalking its prey - sniffing the air with nostrils flaring, low steady breathing, ears upright and listening, careful deliberate cautious steps. Of course, I am from the big city and know little of the big cats in the wild. For all I know, I may have just described a bovine chewing its cud in some sunny pasture. The point is...they are out there...perhaps being set by classification on and under tables right this very minute. Just a block away from where I now sit. Cookbooks and thrillers, poetry and home improvement, fiction and autobiography. Where will this year's tide take me (and believe me, one DOES get swept along with the sea of humanity that invades the big book sale) I wonder. My hands itch at the thought.
Thanksgiving turkey AND the Big Book Sale all in the same month. Life is good.