Filed under: AwesomeSauce, Bookworm, Favorite Things, Phoenix Booksale, Proof that I'm a Nerd
You guys, I am so excited!! February is almost here and I have been counting down the days for an entire YEAR!
No, it’s not because of Groundhog Day when that Puxatony rodent will decide what the crap is going on with the pathetic excuse for a winter that has been reigning over the Rocky Mountain West…
No, not because of Valentine’s Day…
It’s not because of President’s Day and the accompanying paid Monday holiday…
Or because of Fat Tuesday…
It’s not because some Academy of movie watchers will present awards for all the great films I missed in 2011. (That’s right, of the Best Picture Academy Award nominees I have seen exactly zero. Cinema Culture Fail.)
No, not because of my birthday…(However, I will be turning the big 2-9 in three weeks and until this moment I hadn’t actually thought about it.) (And now I probably will have to think about it…) (Crap.) (How about, I don’t. Does that work for everyone? GREAT!) (Hello, denial, nice to see you.) (Also, nice to see you again, overused parantheticals.)
Nope, it’s not any of those “legitimate” holidays, it is far more exciting than a paid day off or an excuse to gorge yourself on chocolate and sprinkles (see: Valentine’s Day, Fat Tuesday, Birthday, Denial). No, the reason I ma STOKED is because the second weekend of February is The Booksale! The wonderful, legendary Phoenix Booksale.
Are you lost? Confused? New around here? Let me catch you up. (Or you can read posts from the last few years here.) Every year the second weekend in February the VNSA society in Phoenix hosts a huge Used Book Sale; 600,000 books are donated throughout the year, collected from all around the city, organized and carefully arranged in a warehouse. They are stacked up on tables in towering piles and crammed underneath them in crates and boxes quietly waiting for someone to adopt them and take them home. Paperbacks are $1.50 (the price went up a few years ago) and hardbacks are $2-3 dollars a piece and those big, shiny coffee table art books priced around $5-$10. On Saturday morning 100,000 people show up at the Phoenix Fairgrounds, wait for hours in switch-back lines that go for miles and jostle and throw elbows for this or that particular book. There have even been incidents of two or more bibliophiles coming to fisticuffs over one book or another. Despite the fisticuff violence, it is all for a good cause. All the proceeds go towards literacy programs in the greater Phoenix area.
Did you get that? You are helping kids learn how to read! You take home boxes and bags and entire SUITCASES full of books all the while helping finance programs to help kids and English as a Second Language students learn how to read! It’s a win-win-win! Now, your only problem is deciding if you are going to fly or drive (fly Southwest if possible, Phoenix is a hub and they let you check 2 bags–i.e. 100 pounds of books–for free!), and figuring out a place to house all those lovely hardbacks once you get them back home. You have such first world problems!
Now, last year my friend HRH and I had a particularly epic adventure. We slept outside in the parking lot in a sketchy part of Phoenix. We were probably 50th in a line of thousands to get inside the booksale whem the doors opened at 8am. We both scored some amazing finds. I, by myself, came home with 94 new books. Ninety-four! Now, this year HRH cannot come to Phoenix with me, but I have convinced J-Mo to be my parking-lot camping buddy and I guarantee I will again come home victorious from the booksale.
In preparation for all the bookish festivities I am printing out a full spreadsheet of all the books that I own. (Yes, I have such a spreadsheet and it is updated every time I new book makes it’s way across my doorstep. Don’t judge. It’s brilliant.) I’ve been collecting titles from around the blogosphere of the books you all loved and raved about in 2011 (Room, In Zanesville, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Great House, etc), I’m taking that list and will try to track down those titles. I’ve talked to my older brother, a Phoenix resident, and have secured both a place to stay (and shower! and nap!) AND the camping gear required to comfortably sleep in a parking lot. (Thank you, Brother #1!) I even ordered an eye-mask so I’ll be able to sleep better under the bright lights of the fairgrounds.
You guys, I cannot wait!
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