Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Big Book Sale

One of my absolute favorite days of the year is the SF Public Library's Big Book Sale. Held in one of the giant pavilion buildings at Fort Mason, this is seriously the largest used book sale I've ever seen or heard of in my life. Not only that but it's incredibly cheap: hardbacks are three dollars and paperbacks are two dollars. We go every year. We used to make a day of it, literally, going all day long and coming home with so many books we could hardly carry them. These days we've pared things down a bit, just going for the morning and purchasing fewer volumes, but it's still super fun.

Indeed, I think it's fair to say that the whole happening is really a thing of great beauty. A fact which I tried to put into words once, here, and which perhaps the two images above do begin to hint at.

Afterwards we went out for a grown-up lunch date with adult beverages and annoyed the waiter by spreading books all over the table in order to look through our spoils. 

And when we got home I stacked them in a sunbeam. Twenty books for fifty bucks. Not too shabby. I suppose the publisher in me ought to shudder that not a penny of that money went to either the fine publishers who published these books nor the fine authors who wrote them. But, heck, it went to the ever embattled library system instead. And the book-lover (and cheapskate) in me is darn happy with that.

The children's section is one of the most haphazardly stocked and thoroughly picked-over areas of the sale, for obvious reasons. We did manage to find one book about sea creatures (which upon closer inspection mostly seems to be about them devouring one another, so Mabel's sure to love it), but in the above picture she's actually reading a library book to her two friends Mini Suzette and Raggedy Ann. Seriously, people, this is self-instigated imaginative play involving reading to the dollies. Could it be any better?

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