Book Binge

Right now there are a hundred things I should be doing, such as dusting, painting, gardening, writing, etc. Instead, I’ve been staring at the pile of books taking up living room space. When I went back to work at the library, I made a rule for myself: Check out no more than two books and two DVDs at a time and stay away from the 50 cent used book room. I actually did very well for about two weeks but today I’m not sure where to start. Yesterday, I watched Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950 film noir w/ Gene Tierney & Dana Andrews) and The Watcher in the Woods (1980 Disney film w/ Bette Davis — love the book and have always loved the movie as well). I still have five DVDs left to watch. I picked up three great used books this past week too: Lost Moons by Jack Vance, The Five Gold Bands by Jack Vance (I’ll have to find out why the library is discarding Vance books), and a Sunset book on perennials. I also have ten books checked out. Oh, and don’t forget all the reading I have on my Kindle Fire. So I might feel a little overwhelmed at the moment, like a child who has too many new toys to choose from.

Last weekend the Friends of the Library held its annual Big Book Sale, a huge event that takes place at the county fairgrounds. The items sold are donated or discarded books, many in like-new condition. Throughout the year, donations come in, placed in the overflowing sorting bins. They come in one or two at a time, sometimes five boxes or more at time! The Friends of the Library is an amazing group — they transport and sort all of these items, deciding which to sell at Amazon/Alibris/AbeBooks, which to place in the used book room, and they organize the amazing Big Book Sale. Where would so many libraries be without their volunteers and the communities that support them?


There are always quality items that are donated to the library all year long. People give anything from a book they’ve only read once to their personal libraries when they retire and/or decide to downsize. Since this is a college town, there have been some amazing collections donated by retired professors. And, as a result of all these generous donations, the sale is always a great success every year — for the public as well as the library. The first day, which starts on a Friday evening, is sort of like the Black Friday sales, with people pushing through the doors and running down the aisles to find those perfect books (or DVDs, games, CDs which are also sold) and great deals. Book lovers come as far as two hours away or more. On Sundays, the remaining books are $5 a box! This might be surprising, but I’ve never been to the Big Book Sale, mainly because of the crowds and because I might go nuts and buy every book I see. Fortunately, there are plenty of folks who attend.

But back to the piles of library books on my living floor. This is what I have to choose from:

The Best American Short Stories 2012, ed. Tom Perrotta
A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Sensation by Nick Mamatas
Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy by Judith Watt
The Lupus Book (Fifth Edition, 2013) by Daniel J. Wallace
How Music Works by John Powell
The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards by William J. Broad
The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Fibromyalgia (2010)
Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil

So where do I start? The Best American Short Stories and Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy. I still need to finish That Mad Ache. However, that could change as I’m easily distracted. I’ll probably have to spend the next couple of days just reading so that I can return the items as soon as possible. I need some space as I begin spring cleaning!

Follow what I’m reading at Goodreads.

2 responses on “Book Binge

  1. Linn @ The Home Project

    Ah, the library books sale is so much fun. The Corvallis one is great, such nice quality on so many of the books. I love when you find unexpected ones that you never heard of before. When you think of a library sale, you usually think of just worn out books that have been checked out a million times, but there are so many books in like-new condition there, just like you said.

    I can understand the need to set rules for yourself, so as not to get overwhelmed! The Alexander McQueen book sounds like fun, I love a good biography every now and then.

    1. mdeira Post author

      Yes! I’m always amazed at the quality of the donations. What’s fun is that sometimes you’ll find a note or an old, handwritten recipe in certain books. We once found a love letters in a donated book but were unable to track down the original owner. I recently picked up a cookbook from 1942 and there was a recipe on a piece of paper — carefully handwritten and tucked between the pages of the book. Each book has its own history, in a way.

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