Saturday, June 06, 2009

Another book sale (darn professionals)

Friday was the opening day of our county library's spring book sale (never mind that it's really summer now). I stood in a line of probably a hundred people, waiting for them to open the doors. Once inside, we all scattered to our various corners. I went to what they called "adult fiction."

Now, I like used books as much as any book lover would, but I was not pleased to realize that so many in that line were professionals, booksellers (on eBay or elsewhere) with their little hand-held scanners scanning any book that looked valuable. Not only was stepping over these people a pain, but I can't help but resent that these people are trying to capitalize on this book sale in order to resell the books and make a profit. I'm a good capitalist, too, but a book sale is for book lovers, for those looking for a good find, looking to complete a collection, looking to find new reads. If it were up to me, I'd ban those damn scanners and let make those folks scan the books with their eyes like the rest of us.

Despite this frustration, I came away with a decent haul. And I'm looking forward to going back on Sunday, when they charge by the bag.

Here's part one of the haul:
Ask the Dust - John Fante (I've seen this book come up in many discussions, so I'd better add it to my list)
White Teeth - Zadie Smith (Award winner, right?)
The Confessions of Nat Turner - William Styron (Another one that appears on all "the best" lists)
Delta Wedding - Eudora Welty (It's Welty and I haven't read it, so I'd better)
The Sportswriter - Richard Ford (Probably already have this one)
The Tortilla Curtain - TC Boyle (could've grabbed about a dozen TC Boyle books, so just one this time)
The Easter Parade - Richard Yates (this one's supposed to be more depressing than Revolutionary Road, so it's definitely on my list)
Like Life - Lorrie Moore (short stories by a modern master)
Nausea - Jean-Paul Sartre (my other New Directions edition is so well-worn it's lost its cover)
In Our Time - Ernest Hemingway (Scribners paperback)
Ulysses - James Joyce (classic Vintage paperback)
Hunger - Knut Hamsun (another one it's hard to believe I've never read)
The Trial - Franz Kafka (the cover keeps falling off my other copy--I say that's why I haven't read it yet)
Goodbye, Columbus - Philip Roth (some day I'll have and have read the entire Roth collection)
The Human Stain - Philip Roth (add another one)
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway (another old Scribners paperback)
Winner Take Nothing - Ernest Hemingway (and again)
The Colossus - Sylvia Plath (a 1968 paperback)
Walden - Henry David Thoreau (with a handwritten inscription: Readings in Am. Lit., Denver University, Winter Qr '59)
Built to Last - James Collins and Jerry Porras (the one business book -- I don't really like Jim Collins, but this one's now a business classic)

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