Friday, April 21, 2006

Book Sale

Bah! I can't focus on work today. Instead, all I can think about is the semi-annual SPL book sale. Which starts tonight, members only. (However, you can purchase your membership at the door, so it's not a big deal.)

My friend 'Rin and I started going to this a couple of years ago, after we'd both settled in Seattle. I heard about it on the SPL website and we both decided that it sounded like a good time (you know you're a fan of reading when public, book, and sale sound like fun). However, we had no idea how big this thing was. (It's big. People come from all over the western part of the state to attend this sale.)

We get there, Friday night and the line is long. Really long. Starting at the door (to an old hanger building), it snaked around the front of the building, then down along the side, then snaked around this fence (we lost sight of it there)...and there was still 30 minutes to go before opening (6.30). (Needless to say, we learned to get there earlier.) Then you go inside...

which is a whole 'nother maze of tables and boxes and books and just madness. I think that first year they had people passing out maps to where the different sections were...not helpful. Eventually, we just dove into the classics and went from there. Two hours and 25 books later (that's the book limit per membership) and we lined up to have our books sorted, then lined up again to pay for them. (Yes, lots of lining up. But it's clearly marked and the volunteers do an excellent job of keeping things quick and orderly.)

You'd think we'd be exhausted and sore, from lugging clumsily stacked piles of books, quickly shoved into bags and back packs. You think our feet would be killing us from standing and crouching. You'd think our backs would hurt from lugging around said books, from diving under tables to look at the boxes stacked on the floor. You'd think our arms would hurt, again from the lifting and the carrying and the oh-so-polite (we're in Seattle after all) shoving and pushing that goes on. You'd think we'd be cold, because there is no heat in that drafy old hanger building. And you'd be right.

So explain to me why we met up EARLY the next day, to do it all over again? Or every 6 months since. Rain or shine, we're there.

It's all I can think about today....the planning of shoes and clothes to layer, the two page list of books that I doubt I'll find, but since you never know, the cash I have to remember to get (although there's a rumor they're taking credit cards now), to make sure I pack water and Advil, because I'm going to need it. And the books, the blessed 25 (or more, depending on how many I can convince 'Rin, and her sister, a first timer, to get for me--'Rin never meets the limit, slacker) books I'll be taking home with me tonight. That's why I can't focus today...I'm dreaming of 25 new books (and the 50 or so I'll get tomorrow).

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