My local library is currently having another book sale. Although it technically started last night–for those who are members of the “Friends of the Library” organization (or willing to buy a membership at the door)–it opened to the public this morning at 10am. I arrived at 10:03am, and not only did I get the last spot in the parking lot, but there were also probably already 50-75 people pillaging the stacks.
Last time, I came home with a ton of science fiction and fantasy and only a handful of nonfiction books. There were lots of classics that I had never got around to reading, as well as some new authors that I wanted to check out. This time, there were a lot of Star Wars, Forgotten Realms, and Dragonlance books. Not that there is anything wrong with these books, it’s just not what I was looking for. I felt like the nonfiction section was more interesting this time. Maybe I’ll have to check back tomorrow to see what “new” SFF books have hit the shelves. Anyway, when I look at my haul, my results were more balanced than I realized: three genre books and three nonfiction books.
But I think the people were the most interesting part of the book sale. More specifically, their behavior was incredibly interesting. I saw people who removed every book (yes literally every book, one by one) from a shelf, looked at it, then put it back. There were people who would shift back and forth, boxing out the people behind them, as if they didn’t want anyone else even looking at a specific shelf. There were people who seemed to dump piles of books into their bag indiscriminately. And there were even book poachers–someone had their box of books taken (mistakenly or not, I don’t know), and was understandably upset.
All in all, it was a morning well spent.