austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

With rare and scented perfume

I had thought that the three-day library book sale would be a sale, you know, during the library's normal open hours, so while I was driving in during the last hour of the library being open -- various things conspired to keep me busy up to that point, none of them actually interesting -- I figured that I'd have around 45 minutes to forage in there, which seemed adequate for the conference room space they were probably going to use. Luckily, I didn't stop at Wawa to grab a soda before going out.

It turns out that they were closing a half-hour before the library proper did, so that as I entered the room the man at the door told me it was a dollar for a plastic bag, and I had eight minutes. I had no idea what he was talking about by a dollar for a bag, but he expanded: all the books that would fit in the shopping bag would be one dollar. So there are distinct benefits to getting to the library book sale on its last day and in its last hour. (The books were otherwise on dollar- and 50-cent and three-for-a-dollar-tables.) Still, with eight minutes to go and row after row of book, often hardcover, is a touch challenging. I tried to buy the bag right away, but he explained that I took the bag now and only paid for it on leaving, which ... well, I suppose that's a difference.

It actually took half a circuit around the room before I started to find things that looked good enough to pick up, even at a dollar for the bag. But happily, once that first instance was located, it was easy enough to start finding other things, and pretty soon I had a nice full bag. I don't know what my life was like before I had an encyclopedia of the Olympic Games, but I'm sure I'll find some use for it. They called time and I quickly squirmed my way to the far side so I could get one more look about before being chased out; that was enough to let me grab a copy of Will and Ariel Durant's The Era Of Napoleon, which I'm looking forward to reading again. I always liked their description of the Tennis Court Oath.

Ironically, visiting the book sale at the library has now given me enough reading material that I could probably justifiably not go to the library for books -- or to a book store for books -- for the whole month, although that depends on how much time I'm able to put aside for reading and how much gets pulled off to the side by other projects.

And a happy anniversary to Jack Benny, who debuted this day in 1932 on the NBC Blue Network. I've got some Canada Dry to celebrate.

Trivia: In 1789 the Danish Embassy paid £300 to bail a Dutch businessman of the name Ljundgberg out of prison. He had been arrested for industrial espionage, and his bags were jammed with models, drawings of tools and machines, and samples of the clay used for Josiah Wedgewood's ceramics. Ljundgberg skipped out on the bail. Source: The Lunar Men, Jenny Uglow.

Currently Reading: Radar, Hula Hoops, and Playful Pigs, Dr Joe Schwarcz.


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