Let’s take a break for a minute and I’ll tell you about my latest book lover’s adventure…
I had a RARE day off last Saturday, and we were all excited to hang out and have fun. Leaving Dad at home to sleep in, we piled into the car, me, Mom, Grandpa, my sister and my brother, heading across town to readers’ paradise, McKay’s Used Books. It couldn’t have been more different than our last excursion, with only an hour before closing and the whole place to ourselves. This time, it was the middle of the afternoon, and it was Customer Appreciation Day.
The parking lot was full when we pulled in, and there were a ton of people hanging around outside. Something was clearly going on, but what? Sis eventually spotted the sign announcing the event, promising free food, live music, trivia, giveaways, etc. Cool beans! Let’s check it out!
First stop was the free bin, of course. Last time it took me nearly an hour to dig through them all, but with us three girls tag-teaming it, we went through them in no time. It helped that between the four bins, there were only enough books to fill one of them. It was first come, first serve, and that place was hopping!
We went inside after off-loading our free bin treasures in the car and the first thing we saw was the line for the sell and trade counter, stretching back at least twenty feet and almost level with the register. After maneuvering past that crowd with minimal drama, it was a breeze to shuffle through the people among the shelves. Being on a budget, I headed straight for the bargain section, trying to ignore the temptation to look at books priced just out of reach (and failing miserably…Terry Pratchett’s Maskarade! Tanith Lee’s Claidi Journals! And what looks like every series I’ve been following for the past seven years!). I wasn’t the only one back there; I had to share the space with a gaggle of ladies browsing the bargain Christian section next door–yes, it’s broken down into subcategories! I heard them discussing Ted Dekker and was on the verge of recommending Heaven’s Wager if they could find it when I got distracted by two dozen different copies of The Lovely Bones, a surplus of Water for Elephants, and what looked like the entire Sookie Stackhouse series. What, you mean you don’t have ANYTHING else?! With the tenacity of a hermit crab, I scoured through all the duplicates and found a few gems in the bunch, including a paperback for a nickel. A nickel!
There was a live band on the second floor, and you could hear the music no matter where you were in the store. I wish I’d spared more of an ear for it, a nice mellow acoustic and a good singer…just the kind of music that ought to play in bookstores. The singer finished his set, and then it was time for trivia. Store credit to the first person with the right answer! Question number one: what was the first James Bond movie? I almost blurted out the answer before I realized I’d better hoof it to the front of the store for that prize before someone else did. Alas, there was no fighting that crowd…I was ten feet from the designated register when the announcement came over the loudspeaker. “The correct answer is Dr. No. Sold to the man in the yellow hat.” (Well, maybe not those exact words, but you get the idea.) Ah well, it was worth a try.
We paid for our stuff and headed outside for the food vendor. Hot dogs and cold drinks, compliments of McKay’s! My total spending for the day was $2.79 for ten books, which wasn’t as good as the last time in the money-spent to books-scored ratio, but I think it came out pretty even after all. It was a good hot dog.
I went home with, among other things:
- The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson (YEEESSSS!!!)
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
- A Time to Kill by John Grisham
- Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
- The Wild Irish by Robin Maxwell
All things considered, I’d say it was a good day off.