Yesterday was the annual library book sale in the town I used to live in but don’t anymore. (Please ignore my stifled sobs.)
Unsurprisingly, this is one of the highlights of my year. And though my usual preparations entail rounding up my shinguards and walking around the house baring my incisors, my spirits for 2010 were especially high and my game face especially terrifying. I can neither confirm nor deny there was talk of sacrificing virgins, but I will admit it’s a bit of a sore topic that I had to miss last year’s sale to show up at my own wedding. This year, I was ready to buy the shit out of some books.
People, my anticipation was well worth it. I blasted through the doors at 9 a.m. with my hood up and my glasses on and my film festival bag flying behind me like I was some kind of righteous bookworm superhero, picking up everything and anything that appealed to me even slightly, even pushing my own father aside when he approached to give me a kiss hello.
The worst moment came when a horrible smug woman in a green cable sweater and bell-shaped skirt reached for David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas at the same time I did — she got it first, and I damn near reenacted that scene from The Godfather where Michael kills Sollozzo at Louis Restaurant (minus the frisking and the bathroom stall and the speaking of Italian).
I didn’t resort to violence, but I wanted to, and every minute was bliss, even when I spilled my coffee on my pants and my dad started quoting Rudyard Kipling as loudly as he could in an effort to freak out the people around us. (Not only do I no longer take any notice of this behavior, I am beginning to see how this behavior has warped me into the type of person who flips over losing a David Mitchell novel, and also the type of person who can quote the first lines of “Gunga Din” on command.)
At the end, I weeded, because I don’t actually need a second copy of at least five books. But I did pick up the following:
- Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
- The Shape of Things to Come by Maud Casey
- The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon
- Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
- River-Horse by William Least Heat-Moon
- The Mammoth Cheese by Sheri Holman
- The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland
Seriously, people. Even despite the horrible smug green sweater-face, I win.