June 8, 2009

Chasing Tale: At The Library Fire Sale

These library sales used to occur once a year, but over the last couple of years they seem to be picking up in frequency. Don't ask me why. I'm just thankful for one more venue to snag cheap books. I think I was the only thirty-something male there when it opened. Probably the demographic I fit in doesn't consider getting in line—only to wait for the doors to open at nine in the morning—a viable option on a Saturday. It's the weekend, and my ilk are more likely to sleep in. I did that during my first library sale. By the time I showed up at around noon, the shelves and display tables had been picked clean. Ever since, I've made it a point to be right there in the line by ten-to-nine.

This time around wasn't quite as fruitful as I had hoped. My wish list has expanded since my last trip to a sale, but as I maneuvered my way between the middle-aged to elderly women, I saw few of those names along the spines of the books. It's close quarters at these sales—they always take place in the same cramped room that's not much bigger than a grade-school classroom—and I'm a big guy. I nearly squashed a little old lady under my boot heels last year. Doing my best to navigate around my fellow vultures, I found pockets of elbow room and spotted a few titles to take home. Seven dollars spent, and seven books to add to my own bookshelf.

The Black Tower and A Certain Justice by P.D. JamesHers is a name I see pop up now and again when the topics of mystery and suspense arise. There were only two titles of her work that I could see amidst a flurry of James Patterson, Ed McBain, and Dick Francis. I can't say for certain when I'll get around to reading either of these books, but they're there now.

That Hideous Strength by C.S. LewisI only know Lewis for the whole Chronicles of Narnia series, which I haven't read and have no immediate plans to start. The premise for this book looked interesting though, and I'll eventually be able to say I have read at least one of his books.

Thud! by Terry PratchettI'm not a Discworld fanatic, but Mort is one of my favorite fantasy novels (also one of only two of his books I have read). Pratchett's humor is magnificent, and I just don't see his books on shelves that often. This was a bit of a gem in my browsing.

Hannibal by Thomas HarrisI'm trying to see if I can collect Harris' Hannibal Lecter trilogy (it's a trilogy, isn't it?), but I'm doing it via library sales. I bought Red Dragon last year, so Silence of the Lambs is the last on my list. Then, I plan on reading all three in a row.

Untamed by P.C. Cast & Kristin CastI spotted this in the kid's section—boy, did I feel out of place at that table—and decided to grab it. It's the third or fourth book in a series apparently, but I've seen the Cast name on blogs for YA literature and have yet to read her work. And, the cover for this book was an instant draw for me.

The Road by Cormac McCarthyYes! By God, I want to be a fan of McCarthy's work. I was bored to tears, however, reading The Orchard Keeper. I loved the film adaptation of No Country for Old Men, though—I'll be reading that novel next week. The Road has interested me ever since I heard about it. A literary icon writes a dystopian piece of speculative fiction? Alrighty, I'll give it a shot. No quotation marks in the text, though. McCarthy must be allergic to them.

I'm not sure when the next library sale will take place, but my guess is September. They've always had a sale in September. Until then, I'll need to tear through my summer reading and make some room on my bookshelves for what I may find in the fall.


  1. Wow...you got some good books there. I live near a small village and our local library is only a baby one. It doesn't have annual library sales as such, but in the foyer area is a bookcase, and on this bookcase there is always a selection of 'old' library books for sale. I have picked up some real bargains this way.

  2. THUD! is quite good. I'd recommend finding the rest of the 'City Watch' series, if only to make it even more enjoyable. GUARDS! GUARDS! is the first of them, if I remember correctly.

  3. Akasha - I bin to buy books would be nice for my local library, but I'm content with the book sales if they keep up the frequency. Plus, they have an import program of sorts, since it's a chain of libraries in the valley that serve each other.

    Josh - "Guards! Guards!"? I'll have to keep an eye out for that. I thought the "Discworld" series was just a huge set of non-linear books all set in the same universe. If there are series within the series, that's something new entirely.