Some people are addicted to coffee.
Some people are addicted to Diet Coke.
Some people cannot possibly imagine a day going by without a little chocolate.
Some people are completely consumed by dogs and cats and other little furry creatures.
I’m not one of those people; I used to eat chocolate daily, but a certain sweet-tooth revolution has recently curbed that craving and I can’t seem to figure out how to make my body uncurb. Other than a certain affinity to the smell of bleach and a whole-hearted obsession with stilettos, wedges and peep-toes, I am also quite addicted to books.
Stacks of paper, sewed together and filled with tiny –but particular– smudges of ink that somehow transport readers to another time, another world, another life…mmmm, is there anything more fantastic? For most of my life I have had a book tucked into my bag or under my arm. I read on the train, I read during my lunch break, I read before I go to bed and I usually try and get a few pages in while I eat my breakfast –if I eat breakfast. I am a woman obsessed! A bonafide bookworm, and proud of it.
The last month or two I’ve finished a handful of books, started even more, and haven’t posted about any of them! Sure, I’ve put up real reviews on my book blog; but I haven’t mentioned a thing on my regular show. So, here I am, mentioning things. I have finished and reviewed (on a 5-star System) Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund (4 stars), Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (4.5 stars), Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss (3 stars), and Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk (3.5 stars). I’d love your comments and thoughts.
In just a few days (Thursday, to be exact) I am heading out on a trip that I have been looking forward to for 2 years. That’s correct, TWO YEARS! I’m not going to Barcelona, or Germany, or China (sigh…I want to go to China!), or anywhere fancy like that. I’m going to Phoenix. What? Phoenix? That is the final destination of such a highly anticipated trip? Why yes it is, thankyouverymuch. And after I get done TELLING you how awesome Phoenix is the second weekend in February, you’ll be putting it on your calendar for next year!
Every year Phoenix hosts an absolutely enormous Used Book Sale; 600,000 books are sitting in a warehouse, organized by genre and quietly waiting for someone to adopt them and take them home. (Are you interested yet? Because if you claim to like books AT ALL you should be sitting on the edge of your seat by now.) These books are donated all year long throughout the greater Phoenix area and are then sold with all proceeds benefiting a literacy program for the metro area. Paperbacks are $1.50, hardbacks are $2-3 bucks, and big, shiny coffee table books are $5-$10. (Are you drooling yet? You should be!)
Basically, this is how Life works this weekend. On Saturday morning, I show up at the O-dark-hundred to stand in line outside the warehouse at the Phoenix Fairgrounds –with Handsome V in tow, because he’s awesome like that and is totally up for a road trip. (Yes, we’re driving. Can you imagine the costs involved with shipping boxes of books home? Ohmygoodness, it would be insane!) At any rate, we show up and wait in line for a few hours because those who get into the warehouse first get shopping carts. I’m sure you see the benefits of having a shopping cart to fill up with books. In a dog-eat-dog world, or rather, a bibliophile-knocks out-bibliophile world, having the luxury of picking up, at first glance, everything that looks interesting and sorting them out later has some serious benefits over only being able to pick up books that you are willing to carry around the football-field sized warehouse for an hour. Yes, definitely is best to get there early and throw elbows for a shopping cart.
Ok, back to the story; we get there early, hang out for a while, drink some hot chocolate and eat a bagel, chat it up with fellow bookaholics in line and then when they open the gates, pretend that we’ve never met these people before and make a flying leap for the hardbacks and the rare editions. I spend an hour frantically gobbling up stacks of biographies and art books, classics and historic volumes, travel books and books on photography or architecture, and, of course, any Shakespeare Complete Works I happen to see. After I’ve loaded up my cart to the point that I can no longer push it, I settle down in a corner, probably seated on a box of paperbacks (after checking inside for anything good) and sort through my loot. I consult my list of already-owned hardback classics (no point in having two identical copies of A Tale of Two Cities) and narrow down my treasure to a manageable volume. And by “manageable” I mean “what will fit into my trunk.
I proceed to check-out, write a ridiculously small check for the amount of literature I will be stuffing in my car, and walk away full of warm-fuzzies because I am helping people learn to read and learn to love it as much as I do. Then I go take a nap. Frankly, I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Saturday morning.
If you live in Phoenix and want to come and say hello, I’d love to meet you. Unless, of course, you have your eye on that Nabokov book, or the first edition Moby Dick, in which case, I may or may not declare all-out war. If you want to learn more about the booksale, check out the official website.
23 Comments so far
Leave a comment