We went to a crazy book sale today put on by the Wake County library system. It was at the fairgrounds, in a building named after some historic North Carolinian who was prominent enough to get a building named after him, but not so much that random visitors would know who he was. He shouldn't feel too bad, though, because it's a big building, about twice the size of my high school gym. And it was full of books. Tables and tables of books. The sale went on all weekend, but we only showed up for the box sale, because that's the kind of people we are. Let the other people come in on Friday and pay $4 a hardback. We'll be happy to be the gleaners, taking what was left behind for $5 a box.
There were just too many books. We could have spent all day there and still not have looked at them all. We only had about an hour to spare. Even with not looking very closely at every single book, I was able to add book after book to my bag. There were a few scanners there, but I didn't mind them at all. I felt as one with everyone in the room. All you people, you are book lovers and therefore my kindred!
I started with a bag, just because it was easiest to procure. I got a large, sturdy plastic bag for each of us (they were from Borders - oh, the irony!), and we jumped in. After a while, the plastic was threatening to give out, and I decided to upgrade. I found an abandoned box and loaded it up. Then I went to find Josh to see how he was coming along. I found him carefully transferring his books from his bag to a box. Predictable.
There was so much. I used my usual criteria - any authors that I already knew that I liked, plus the major award winners. I was pleased to find one by Naguib Mahfouz, who had been recommended to me by a middle-aged Egyptian while his friend hit on my friend. I found some hardback versions of books that I already have in paperback, so I could upgrade my copies and give the others away. And for the heck of it, I picked out a book by Balzac, just because Marian the Librarian liked him so much.
Plus more. So many more. Even though I am now reading more than I ever have in my life, I still don't know how I will ever get to them all. At a book club meeting recently, another woman was considering aloud whether she would ever read the month's selection again. It was a wonderful book. I could see where her mind was going, and I smiled sadly at her and said, "There are just so many books."
It is a good problem to have.