: views from the Hill

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Article ideas/commentary plucked from the aether

First Monday's book for discussion in August, as I think I mentioned a while back, is Gabriel Garcia Marquez' LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA

I went over to Book Bay this afternoon looking for a copy, thinking I could take it with me when we're away and read the book way ahead of time instead of during the last few days before First Monday.

I looked under /Marquez/ in the FIC section. Nada. I wandered over to the back of the store and got distracted by the $0.50/item table (3/$1) What is this? Gazillions of first edition mysteries, some in dust jackets, some in dust jackets with plastic covers.


Science fiction classics too. Watty Piper's THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD (with Sanrio stickers front and back and pencil scribbles inside but the ILLUSTRATIONS are there and I [heart] Watty Piper.

I stack stack here and stack stack there. ...

(Excuse me. Could I stash these books somewhere? I haven't finished shopping but there are too many for me to carry around with me. Oh, thanks.)

I took my stashes from the $0.50 or 3/$1 over and stacked them on the counter. I also had a "full price" $5 copy of Maupin's TALES OF THE CITY. We already have a copy of TALES, but maybe I'd like to take a copy along with us on our next trip. (We are looking for lightweight books we can take along with us and abandon along the way. Our next trip requires us for a major portion of the trip to have a combined checked/carryon luggage weight of 26 lbs. ...) Before then we have layovers in London and other long stretches.

I wander over to the "new additions" still looking for LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA. Nada. I do find another $5 book I want.

I check the shelves and displays. Surely there's GGM somewhere in this room.

*FLICK* the light comes on.

I go back to FICTION and look for GARCIA MARQUEZ. Two copies of CHOLERA, one HB, one PB. I choose the PB for weight reasons. (That and the price of the HB, which is the first NAm edition. ...) PB cost $5.

I go back to the front counter and start counting through my $0.50 or 3/$1 books three-by-three and discover I am one book shy of a number that divides by three. I go back to the tables and find an African travel book (how à propos, eh?).

Back to the front counter. The clerk, a volunteer, is counting. xx yy zz aa bb ... and forty-seven. I hand over the African travel book, making it forty-eight. She rummages around with what that all may mean and I say, "$16 plus $5 for TALES OF THE CITY and $5 for LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA."

She adds it all up.

AND! I tell her, I have a Friends of the Library card (10% off) and a one-time extra discount (25% off).

Forty-eight books plus this and that and my total (with tax) is sixteen dollars.

Plus ... that Watty Piper LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD? I plan to sell a human interest/slice of life commentary about cleaning up the childhood classic to pass it on to my grandchildren.

Article ideas/commentary plucked from the aether.

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