It puts a happy smile on my face when the county library announces the dates for their annual spring book sale AND I will be in town to attend it. A preview day is always set for the Monday evening for patrons of the library or you can pay an admission fee. I decided to wait until Tuesday morning to attend.
I planned my arrival to be about fifteen minutes after the doors open, hoping to avoid the crush of people. As I approached the building with my tote bag in hand, I marveled at the number of people scurrying into the double glass doors. There was no crush, but there was a constant stream. Once inside a decision must be made, head to the “better books” section or the cheaper books area. I turn towards the “better books.” The entrance is guarded by several senior citizens, but they do not interfere with me.
The tables are filled with small boxes of books waiting to be flipped through. Each table has a sign designating the type of books in the boxes. Picture books is my first table to begin the browsing. Flip, flip, snatch and drop into my bag. This process is repeated box after box. My eyes look down, there are more boxes below the tables! Gingerly I kneel down to flip through these boxes. Mothers with young children in-tow bump into me causing me to lose my balance. Some are pushing strollers between the tables. There really isn’t enough room for that. My bag is getting heavy as I move on to the poetry table, then the nonfiction table. I stop, look over the tables in the Children’s section to see if I’ve been to every box. Yes, I think I have.
Now I take my bag to a side table away from the crush of people to look carefully at the treasures I have tucked into my bag. Some of the books are unfamiliar, I dropped it in because of the author. Slowly, I read through each book assessing it. Does this book meet my criteria to make it a mentor text for reading or writing? Several do not pass the test. I put those books back into boxes.
My bag is still heavy as I make my way to the table where the ladies tally the cost of your books. Once you have your tally paper, you get in line to pay. Fortunately I put cash in my pocket so I was able to get into a “cash only” line. After paying I leave my books at the “holding” table so I can look and see what is available in the other section. The pickings are slim, but I do find two books. This line is much shorter. I return to the “holding” table to reclaim my bag and head out the door. A smile is on my face as I greet those who are just arriving because I have a bag of treasures. I wonder, “What did I miss by not being there the first day?” Check it out and see what I found!