It's that time of year again, my favorite of all times. What's that, you say? Halloween? Nah, I eat enough candy during the year. Fall? Or, as J likes to say, with perfect enunciation, autumn? I mean, I love the change in the weather (and it does change, even here), but that's not my most favorite part of this season. No, it's time for that BIG book sale, the Charleston County public library's giant sale that happens every year at this time. It may be my favorite part about living here, period. I LOVE going to this. LOVE it!
This year, I dropped J off at J the second's house a tad early (thanks, Dr. C!) and took Baby E. We got in line a half hour before it opened and were in about the 10th position, still inside building, which was my goal. I let Baby E run up and down the converging staircases in front of us for half an hour, which he thought was great! Then I lured him back into the stroller with yogurt covered raisins and strapped him in just before they opened the door.
And then the mad rush was on! We headed straight for the children's book tables, flipping through them at break neck speed, tossing the possibles into the bottom of the stroller (and, truth be told, into the other seat as well), and working our way through the many, many offerings. We sped for two reasons: one, the kids' tables get PACKED with in an hour or so, so much so that it becomes impossible to navigate with a stroller. And two, I knew I had only a limited amount of time for which Baby E would consent to be trapped in the stroller. I kept him supplied with snacks and board books and was able to score a HAUL! No, really, I got over 80 children's books for the boys! Come on, they're 50 cents a piece for paperbacks and $1 for hard backs. And some are new! I even had time to peruse some of the trade paperbacks and get some books for myself (along with a cookbook and a dictionary of Greek/Latin roots--because I am a super geek!). I was in heaven!
Baby E was a trooper! He lasted an entire hour, which included checking out and paying (which are staffed by retiree volunteers and goes by a little...bit...slowly).
I got as much as the stroller and I could carry comfortably, and we were back at the car by 10am. The husband is out of town right now, so the boys and I may head back to the sale if our plans for tomorrow drag a bit. Last year, J sat and read the whole time, but Baby E was still stroller-bound and did read books but kept throwing them down in disgust when they weren't ones he recognized. (He's very particular about what he reads, apparently!)
Oh, how I love the slightly musty smell of used and CHEAP books! It takes me back to visiting used bookstores and swap meets with my parents in Hawaii, and that smell is still the smell of my own bookshelves--I think even new books start to smell that way in very short order. It's the smell of minds at work!