I’ve been trying to shrink down some of my possessions (very very slowly, but there we go) and one of the ways I’ve done that is donating a lot of things to the library. Since I get a lot of review copies of books, it can turn into a never-ending battle, and the library donation area is one of the easiest ways to fix that problem.
The Arlington County book sale was this weekend, which made me happy because it means that starting May 1st they’re accepting donations again. I stopped by on Saturday to check out a copy of Malinda Lo’s Ash for book club in a few weeks, and while I was there I wandered through the book sale. I managed to escape with only two books being purchased, thankfully. Three things that jumped out at me while was there, though:
Seeing Books I’d Donated
This got quite a few chuckles from me. Every now and then I see books I’ve donated on the shelves (for instance, the time I was walking through the Pimmit Hills Library and suddenly came across a run of fifteen volumes of The Prince of Tennis, which made laugh since I stopped after volume 15), but I always figure the books more often than not end up in the book sale. I think I must have seen a good twenty copies of books that I’d given them in one section alone; one in particular had the same little fold on the top of the cover that I remembered so well. (No, I’m not saying which books I donated and which ones I kept in my own personal library!)
Seeing Books I’d Wanted But Long Since Forgotten About
Do you have books that you thought about buying over and over again but never did? One of those books for me was Tea From An Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan, which I think I must have picked up and put back down on the shelves at the (no longer in existence) Borders around the corner from my apartment, years ago. I’d read some of Cadigan’s Wild Cards short stories, and I heard great things about the book. But I never, ever bought it. They had a lovely hardcover copy of the book for sale, and for $2 I decided to finally scoop it up. I suspect that once I read it, I will donate it back to the library and let the cycle continue for someone else!
Seeing Books I Didn’t Know Existed
I had no idea until yesterday that Food & Wine magazine publishes an annual collection of all the recipes from that year. There was a copy of their 2006 annual available, and a quick flip through showed off enough I was interested in that I decided it was worth a purchase. And once again, if I end up getting bored with it, well, back to the library! And if I like it, well, it looks like a lot of used copies of the Food & Wine annuals are available for under a buck.
That said? I am glad the big book sale only comes several times a year, for the sanity of my own bookshelves and wallet. After I had my two books, I decided to stop while I was still somewhat ahead and fled for the exit. I’m no fool. I know that path has disaster written all over it for me.