Yesterday, my beautiful wife and I loaded up the baby and excurted to Alton, Illinois, a small town in the upper northern reaches of the St. Louis metropolitan area. To get there, we had to drive for almost an hour, cross two rivers, and navigate the revitalizing downtown area of Alton.
The Friends of the Haynor Library hold this book sale twice a year, in May and in October. As such, they have a decent amount of material, but a lot of it is ex.lib. Also, I think the selection represents recent library remainders, the detritus from past book sales, and a couple or three donations from the last five or six months. As a result, there’s volume, but it has a pre-picked over quality to it. The good books were already sold. As a barometer, Heather spotted a single Ed McBain novel–and I didn’t even see that.
Also, the books were predominantly displayed on actual bookshelves instead of tables. Whereas this works in a bookstore, a book sale tends to have a larger number of people moving around, which doesn’t lend itself to leisurely browsing. Books on the bottom shelves get short shrift as they’re not at eye level, and I cannot browse disorganized shelves very quickly.
That didn’t stop me from buying, though; as the picture below indicates, I found 11 books to Heather’s 6. Which is a shame, since the books were priced well; fifty cents for a hardback, a quarter for a paperback. This is one step above bag day, my friends; if a book remotely tempted me, I picked it up. But I wasn’t very tempted.
The book sale also had a large room full of other media, including cassettes, CDs, VHS cassettes, computer software, and magazines. As you know, you can rip a CD into MP3 format, so a quarter for a cassette is worth it if you know one song on it (versus online music services). I dug into these and found 7 (several are compilations of songs of easy listening) to Heather’s 1; again, these were not merchandised well, as the cassettes were stacked on end so the name was not visible. It’s just as well, since most of them were mixed tapes, bootlegs, recordings of various lectures, or theological programs. I have a greater patience than Heather, but even I wasn’t that thorough when going through them.
Well, here’s the picture; notice I’ve turned the spines toward you, gentle reader, so you can see what I’ve bought and so I have a record and can report faithfully where I got the books when I actually get around to reading them.