Saturday, October 24, 2009

got books? a story

Giddy, I tell you.

Want the whole story?
(That would be the In My Head story.)

So one of our neighborhood libraries (not The neighborhood library, but one of the six that we visit that is within five miles of home) is closing due to being torn down and completely re-done.
"Sale, sale, sale!", they said.
And it's not only that library, but it's being combined with the county's annual or semi-annual "clean up", as well.
"Rrrr?" lifts Mama's left brow -and ears- and out comes the ScoobyDoo sound.
First day (yesterday) I went... drug with me the babes and Eric, so's he could dance attendance at the adjoining park while I browsed and Dug In.
I thought it would be rather lax, and plenty of room for hemming and hawing, and the babes would shuffle, and throw things into the bag, saying, "I want this, Mama!" Fine. Then they'd be done while I looked at my leisure. Thus Eric and the park.
Don't know why I thought that. Looking at books is never "At My Leisure", so don't know why I supposed it would happen now.
But, you know. I did.
Ever the optomist, I spose.

There was a line.
A wait to get in.
A fifty-minute wait, actually.
I tell you this not to bore you to tears, but to wave my fist and stamp my slippered foot tell you to Persevere!, friends. :)
Got in there.
Behind the E-Bay people with their little electronic ticker gizmo thingies and Bins and Bins (truly) lying upon dollies.
Around me -in the line- were people fussing and mad at them...
I'm pleased to say that I did not play into the Fear, and thoughts of "They're going to be after Exactly what I'm after, and snatch it right out of my hands and cheat me" that seemed to be floating about the heads of the Crowd around me. Not a judgmental accusation, you understand... just an observation.
"You have twenty minutes!" called the Powers That Be.
Now twenty minutes sounds like a long time, doesn't it?
It's not.
Well, not in Mama World, anyway.
I swear I was in there for two, and they called "Ten minutes!"
There were people lined up down the block, you see, and we each got twenty minutes to pack our bags (or sixty gallon totes, as the case may be) with our treasures, then we get kicked into the checkout line.
No time to open the books and peruse the contents, if I saw something interesting, it went in.
I didn't do too bad. I ended up with one I would have skipped over under more leisurely circumstances.
"But where are the Science books???" I was thinking.
I ended up with Ancient Rome.
And Superfudge
and Vikings
and Wetlands.
And lots more along that line.
Not bad.
Actually.... pretty great, as our Who's Who, places, and history library is embarrassingly shameful and practically non-existent pretty thin.
Yeah. It's all good.
I can feel good about that.

Let's go back later.
So I did.
(Why not? It's close. In the neighborhood. It's my birthday. I'm one of those funny souls who might just actually believe He Who Dies With The Most Books wins. I spent seven dollars the first time and got an armful that was too heavy to carry for long.)

The Powers That Be said they were rotating things in throughout the next two days.

A few more.
National Geographics.
More of the same, history and ancient history.

And yeah, I went again -third time- just before closing.
Nothing new in the children's section-- the same two piddly tables. Hmmph.
Not one book, that time.

I was thinking then that I wasn't sure I wanted to brave A Saturday.
But I came to the conclusion that those Science books (nature, animals, experiments, crafts, ecology, etc) had to be brought out eventually, and I may as well try again.
I figured since Opening wasn't so good the day before, it might not be strictly necessary on a Saturday afternoon... so I was pretty much relying upon any good Mojo or Karma I might have coming from the Universe.
Noon, I thought.
Lunchtime seemed a logical no-crowd time.
As it turned out, the center was closed.
For re-stocking.
Until 1:OO.
It was ten after noon.
Wanna wait?
(This would be the conversation starter in my head.)

Really? You might not find anything.

"Well... I'll stand here and wait until I decide."
I talked to the guy behind me. He was nice. And intelligent. And charming. And accepting that my husband and I were home educators. And not interested in children's books.
We talked about The Vultures (his word, but to which I did not object).... those souls that were first in line with their Bins -- the same ones from yesterday. We admired their incredible timing-- their ability to be very first in the door.
I still refused to be afraid.
I didn't have a ticker.
All I had was a homeschooing mama's instincts.

And that's all there is, Friends.
Just me
and my children
and the things I'd like to see Upon Our Shelves.

No timers, this time.
First in line after the re-stocking - well, technically I was probably #14 or so -
I waited for about forty-five minutes
and damn if I didn't get my books.
Yes I did.

Today's find:
(top to bottom)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (fiction)

Dora's Chilly Days (x 2 - the extra is going to a little friend)

Dora's Custume Party (fiction)

Earthsteps: A Rock's Journey Through Time

Awesome Dinosaurs: Armored Giants

Old Thunder and Miss Rainey (fiction)

Joan of Arc

Aladdin & The Magic Lamp (fiction)

American Girls: Samantha's Special Talent (fiction)

Rosa (Rosa Parks)

Games for All Year: 100 Games for Winter

Games for All Year: 100 Games for Fall


Paddington Goes To Town (fiction)

The Minotaur

Thomas Jefferson Author of the Declaration of Independence


Community Builders: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

The Importance of Abraham Lincoln


Helen Keller: Toward the Light

Thomas Jefferson


Young Scientist Concepts & Projects: Astronomy

Watching Desert Wildlife


Geology Crafts for Kids

Science Starters: Magnets and Sparks

Children's Guide to Endangered Animals

DK Eyewitness Books: Evolution

Rocks and Fossils

Journey Under the Sea

Animals Under Threat: Peregrine Falcon

Death From Space: What KIlled the Dinosaurs?

Children Save the Rainforest

Outside and Inside Bats

Science Fair Projects: Chemistry

DK Eyewitness Books: Force & Motion

DK Eyewitness Books: Seashore

DK Eyewitness Books:Life

DK Eyewitness Books: Jungle

King Tut: Tales From the Tomb

Stacked on top of yesterday's find:

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom In the Universe (from Barnes & Noble)

Five National Geographics

Zoo Books

National Geographic for Kids

You Are In Ancient Egypt

Pirate Diary (fictional)

Ancient Civilizations: Rome

Perspectives: You Are In Ancient Egypt

Growing Up In: Ancient China

The Vikings

Calliope - Exploring World History: The Babylonians

World History Series: The French Revolution

The Lewis and Clark Trail

History Makers: Rulers of Ancient Rome

Neil Armstrong

Mohandas Gandhi

Galileo Galilei


A Picture Book of Thomas Alva Edison

Consider Love (fiction)

Superfudge (fiction)



Exploration into India

All About Wild Animals: Hippos



History Dudes: Vikings


Fast Forward: Egyptian Mummies

Illustrated History Encyclopedia: Ancient World - How People lived in the Stone Age, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire

* * *

Seventeen magazines
(5 National Geographics, 3 American First: Watercolor magazines, 2 ZooBooks, 1 Ranger Rick, 4 National Geographic Kids, 2 Spider magazines)

nine soft covers

and sixty-four hardbacks.

Thirty-three dollars.




  1. Oh.My.
    What a pile. Well done you :-)

    Happy Birthday, by the way!

  2. Dude!!!
    I'm so excited reading this post.
    What a score!
    Well deserved by the persistent mamma.

    I dare not go green, i get enough reading and education just through your posts.
    Be sure to share with us through your blog.

    Oh and happy birthday too. I got an inkling it might be..... but i didn't want to assume.
    Its clear to see that its a birthday you wont forget

  3. So jealous! *falls over* (:
    And happy birthday!

  4. That certainly fit under the perfect birthday celebration.

  5. Dude!!! You got some good stuff!! I am especially envious of your Eyewitness books!LOL!

  6. AWESOME!!! Could you hear me cheering you on through the whole thing?! I am totally impressed at your perseverance!! What a fabulous collection!

    I have a friend who goes to ALL the library books sales, and combs every single thrift store she drives by, and has The Most Amazing Book Collection. They turned their garage into a library, PLUS the rest of their house is filled with books. So... um, I really just go to her house when I'm looking for something. LOL. And, yes, they're homeschoolers, as if you needed to ask. ;) She just gave us a stack of hand-me-down dinosaur books cause her kids are finished with them!

  7. Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, of course! What a great way to spend a birthday! :)

  8. Happy Birthday, Stephanie! You are a girl after my own heart.... You know, my husband and I love books so much that we got into the used book business some time ago, and those book people with their tickers and bins can get down-right rude. Seriously (because it is serious, yes?). I'm surprised they don't have goons blocking off the aisles. I'm so glad you didn't get taken out. ;)

  9. Jenell- truly!!! (goons)
    And me, too! (glad) :)

  10. I love a good book sale! I love the photo, girl!

  11. Oh good grief - glorious birthday to you... I am so glad we never ever ever have anything like that around here. My one in one out policy would be flung so far out the window and would never be seen again!!! ALL those DK books!!! Waaaahhhhhaaaa!!!!

  12. Happy, Happy Birthday To You!

    I loved this story! I was breathless waiting to see if you would get your books and YAY! A Happy Ending!

    What a wonderful treasure of books for your library :)


  13. Yippee ~ you hit the motherload of juicy books!! Sometimes mamas just have to be patient/tenacious and it pays off!

    You've really got some awesome titles there :)

  14. Ahhh heaven!! That is our idea of absolute heaven! You made out like a bandit!!! What great finds... i think all the DK books are brilliant! We love those! any goodies for you? for you?
    PS... happiest birthday!. love, joy and good health.

  15. Happy birthday!!!! Oh happy day full of wonderful books!!! I was laughing through the whole post.


  16. I'm trying sooooo hard not to be jealous. That is a dream come true for me. And yes, it IS all about how many books you have when you die. I know they say "you can't take it with you, but read the fine says "except books."
    I was on the edge of me seat, trying to read really fast to see how you did on Saturday, happy to read it was well worth your while.
    Love you, even if I am jealous.

  17. Happy Birthday, friend!

    I loved this post. So funny. I need to have my husband read it so that he can see I'm not the only one with a book 'issue'.

    The cookbook section of the library sales always get me.

    (Those 'vultures' would really make me roll my eyes, I have to admit.)

  18. What an amazing deal!!!!

  19. oh this would make me SO HAPPY.
    Right On, and happy happy birthday!


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!