Thursday, April 7, 2011

Second hand

We all know that Ellie is a lover of libraries, and that she absolutely does not buy books. She has an impressive collection of library cards from both near and far-flung locations, on which she depends to feed her habit. She'll take your already-read cast offs as well, but you will not find her ordering online from Amazon, or buying a novel in a big box store, or even buying a book from a small independent used book seller.

No. You won't.

But me? Well, I do all of these things. I love taking my mom's recent reads, as well as Jacquie's, or anyone else's for that matter. I love the library, and adore the San Diego Library System's intralibrary loan program -- with the click of a mouse, any book at any of the many, many San Diego library locations will arrive at my local library in just a day or two. The book world is my oyster. That said, I also love to peruse Bookstar or Borders -- love those displays; and if I know what I want, Amazon will do the trick too.

Used bookstores are even more fun, I can easily spend hours in one. But the very best for me right now? The book source that is making my heart sing of late? It's the used book sale at my local library.

My current local library is not quite as nice as my former local library. The former's used books were available for sale whenever the library was open. And they was organized.

My current library? Not so much. Books are sold on only Saturdays and Wednesdays (although they do have a few rolling racks of used books inside the library at all times). In regards to organization, although there are book genre signs posted above various shelves, I've found they don't mean much.

But surprisingly, I've found this lack of order to be especially fruitful. I'm forced to weed through all types of reads, and I've been so pleased by what I've found.

I most recently picked up Julia Cameron's memoir, "Floor Sample," and am loving it. I started last night and could not put it down, reading hours past my bedtime. Before this I snagged a copy of Rhoda Janzen's memoir "Mennonite In A Little Black Dress," which was excellent. I would likely never have found these memorable memoirs elsewhere, as I don't think of that genre as my type. But these reads called out to me from the rolling library carts -- I needed to have them. (I actually had to raid my car to come up with the $1 in change to by the Janzen book.)

Eliot Pattison's Water Touching Stone, the second in a mystery/crime series, did the same to me (but wait, why do I need this? I don't read crime novels). Seeing as it was the second of the series, I then bought the first, read my second, intralibrary-loaned the third, and will very soon place a hold on the fourth. I didn't know that I would so enjoy a mystery series, but I've learned a ton about the struggle of the Tibetan people to maintain their spiritual and cultural identity, and need to find out more. This series, I can tell you, would never have captured my attention at Barnes and Nobel, as I would never even have made it into that section.

My point? Well, I guess it's that I can hardly contain myself, and simply had to share. I get so much pleasure out of those surprising $1 reads, and support my local library by doing so. And then I pass them on (do you remember this crazy Amvets story?) or donate them back, so often give to the library on both ends.

And that? I think even Ellie would even approve of :-)


likes a x-country book exchange in PA said...

I am *very* impressed!
I wonder where Mrs Sydnor is?? I thought having an elementary school librarian who rarely swallowed her spit my have an adverse affect on some, but clearly, not you. :)

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh I do! I do!

Love! Love!

I just like to feed my habit, and I do it however I can, like all good addicts do. I am not *against* buying books, so much. It's just I can't afford to buy them, to keep up with my needs.

I have no kids and a part time job, remember. If I did *not* have this habit, well, I'd probably be addicted to something else, really bad. Like collecting porcelain critters or sniffing glue or something.

Thanks for the tips, Beth. My current read is just starting to get really excellent: "The Diviner's Tale" by Bradford Morrow.



Me, You, or Ellie said...

I love library book sales, such generally random assortments of goods. Thanks for the reading list additions, can't ever have enought of those!



Logical Libby said...

I love books, and I can't stop myself from buying them. Whenever I check something out from the library I also end up buying it as well just in case I can't live without it later.

That leads to a lot of books I now need to get rid of. If only you guys lived close by...