Monday, September 10, 2012

All that for Six Dollars

Cheryl and I went out for lunch, and since we were right next to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, I decided to saunter on in like a cowboy bellying up to the bar and check out their books. I’d picked out a couple, and was about ready to head out, when the lady putting more books on the shelf told me that today you could buy an entire grocery bag full of books for $6.00. Never say that to a bibliophile. The gauntlet had been thrown down, the die cast. An hour later I had a bag so full the plastic was starting to tear on one corner.

I bought, for $6.00 mind you, 21 books. I bought kids books (for somebody’s kids, certainly not our own), history books, and everything in between. I bought three of Tolkien’s books, even though we’ve already got them all. I figure one of the kids will eventually take our original set, and I haven’t read them yet. I bought a junior high level book with beautiful illustrations titled Stories from Herodotus, discarded by the St. Louise School in Bellevue, Washington. (Who reads history books anymore?) Another called Linda Carlton’s Ocean Flight, by Edith Lavell – so old the copyright date is in Roman numerals (MCMXXXI). Don't we all love a good aviation book after all? You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown, written by Charles Schulz, and more than twice as old as our son Zach, or our daughter Paige too! Also Herman Wouk’s War and Remembrance, and Dinesh D’Souza’s apologetics book What’s So Great About Christianity (which doesn’t have a question mark at the end of it). It wasn’t until I got home that I discovered that this obviously never read book has D’Souza’s autograph inside. Apparently the original owner wasn’t all that impressed. Three Dr. Seuss books (we’ve already got all three), and one book illustrated by P. D. Eastman. Eastman wrote and illustrated one of the best books of all time, Go, Dog. Go! A bunch of others too, and finally, a book that any of you out there who watched Captain Kangaroo on the tube (no, the TV, not YouTube), will immediately recognize, Stone Soup, by Marcia Brown (who won the Caldecott Medal three times, among other honors). I couldn’t pass that one up. Once again, it was a discarded library book. Very sad. All in all, a successful outing for a hunting expedition that was totally unplanned. That’s why I always carry spare ammo and my rifle in the gun rack in the back window of the pickup.

On a related note, if you’re looking for a good book store in the Seattle area, try the Southcenter Goodwill, just south of the Southcenter Shopping Mall, at 1174 Andover Park W. in Tukwila. They’ve got a highly organized selection of books, all in good or better condition. The fiction books are even alphabetized by author. You can’t go wrong.

Stay confessional, my friends.


Norman Teigen said...

Interesting. I am mightily trying to reduce my library but would enjoy buying a bag of books for six bucks.
Dinesh D'Souza was in the NY Times again today. He has come out with a film which has caught the eye of Stanley Fish of the NY Times. I won't try to influence anyone's opinion, but it makes for a good read on a timely and vital topic. See The Opinionator in the NYNTimes.

Scott Diekmann said...

Here's the link to Fish's original commentary: