Friday, June 12, 2009

Library Book Sale

Speaking of accumulating things . . . . In confirmation of C.S.'s observation that I own a boatload of books, a few more have entered my collection, thanks to a book sale at the local library branch.

My fellow browsers and I noticed right away that although the tables were loaded, there were several unpacked boxes of books lurking under the tables. With permission, we unloaded them ourselves, leaving no stone unturned.

If you ask me, there were way too many Nora Robertses and John Grishams in the sale, and far too few award winners, but that didn't stop me from finding a few books I just couldn't live without.

Weekdays Are Quick Meals, Time-Life Books. Comfort food with modern twists and common ingredients, taking 30 minutes or less to prepare. I don't cook full meals all that often, but I sure love reading about it! And when the mood strikes, having references readily at hand is a good thing. (Paperback, $1.50.)

The Consolations of Philosophy, Alain de Botton. A near-fine first edition of a book that draws lightly on the foundational philosophers to address common psychological challenges, such as how Socrates can help us cope with unpopularity and how Seneca addresses frustration.

In the kind of serendipity I just adore, the author's previous book was called How Proust Can Change Your Life, and I'm reading and thoroughly enjoying Proust for the first time right now. What a sublime coincidence! (Hardback, first edition, $3.00. suggests this book is worth $15.00-$24.00, a nice plus.)

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens. I bought this one for sentiment alone, although I have been planning to read it someday. It was one of the books discovered in the unpacked boxes. What a great old book, in the way that I like them: the smell of old paper (and not a whiff of mildew!), sunned so that the spine bears no lettering anymore, pages toned with age.

It intrigued me because there was no publication information whatsoever, except "The Book League of America, New York." No date, no copyright info, nothing.

Even more motivating was the horrible thought that such a handsome classic might be discarded if it didn't go home with me. You can guess what happened next. (Hardback, no dust jacket, $3.00. reveals it's probably worth $7.00 or so, not that I'll ever part with it.)

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