How did I call myself “bookish” for so many years, when I’d never shopped a library book sale? Okay, I never call myself bookish, but I have felt a vague sense of incompleteness. I finally went a few weeks ago with my colleague and cube-neighbour Christina. Have I mentioned that I have a bookish office mate? She’s into YA, which is perfect, because we didn’t fight over books.
1. Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland: Because it’s Douglas Coupland. I admit I’m finding his Roots clothing/daily slogan thing a little tiring, but, I will always love him.
2. The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews: Because All My Puny Sorrows is way to hyped for me to read it right now, and my dad’s wife recommended it to me. We’re visiting them next month, so it’ll give us something non-controversial to talk about!
3. In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje: Because I love him.
4. Away by Jane Urquhart: Because Urquart created a playlist for the book, which is kind of my thing. Prosperina by Martha Wainright made me cry.
5. When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman: Because I like the title.
6. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt: Because everyone I know who’s read it orders me to read it. Immediately.
7. The Toss of a Lemon by Padma Viswanathan: Because of this review by friend-of-Reading-in-Bed Jennifer Quist.
8. We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates: Because she is coming to Edmonton in November and I need something for her to sign. Also she has the best/worst/most absurd Twitter persona.
9. Icefields by Thomas Wharton (not pictured): Classic CanLit. The librarian who sold it was so excited for me.
The Life Lessons
1. Like many a newbie, I imagine, I went in all “I’ll just pick up a few books. One or two.” No. You’ll get ten or more. I put a few back because I had nowhere to put them. Come prepared. The true pros bring those little pull-along grocery carts. They’ve really made advances in the design of those since I delivered flyers in the 90s. I saw some that looked more like luggage.
2. If you see a book you might be interested in, grab it. If you change your mind, you can put it back. I hesitated over The Signature of All Things in pristine hardcover, went back maybe three minutes later, gone.
3. You don’t have to go early. The line ups are for the DVDs.
4. Plan a separate day for kids’ stuff. There were so many books and dvds, but I didn’t have time or carrying capacity after I’d been through the adult stuff. Sorry kids!
5. Go more than once. They continually update the stock.I went twice in the same day and saw some of the same people on round two. Those were the pros with the grocery carts. They are hardcore.
The Edmonton Public Library’s next Books 2 Buy event is on August 15-17. I’ll be there!
For good measure, here is my neighbour’s book haul, which resides in her filing cabinet because she couldn’t carry it home. Yeah, I think we’ll get along just fine.