Okay, so here's an adventure I have to tell my fellow book geeks about. (I meant to write this up earlier this week, but alas, sickness!)
One of my very favorite places on earth is a Half Price Bookstore. I think it's one of the most fantastic stores ever invented, and I love that I can find something new every time I go to one. When I was in Kansas last year for a wedding, we drove past a strip mall that had one. I exclaimed "OMG it's a Half Price Books! I'll die if I can't go in there!" I mean it half jokingly, but everyone else thought it was a good idea, so before I quite knew what was happening, half the bridal party was browsing through the bookstore.
Anyhow, there are quite a few of these stores in my state, and a couple times a year they put all of their clearance books together, lug them to the State Fairgrounds, and sell everything for $3 a piece or less. I'd been wanting to get to one of these for awhile, but it never seemed to work out. Last weekend, however, I was feeling well and I had a friend who wanted to go as well, so we bundled up (it was cold!) and went on over.
It's weird to be on the fairgrounds when the fair isn't going on. You can drive through the streets, for one thing, and it's surprisingly busy. We had to walk a ways to get to the grandstand where the books were, but we got good exercise. And although I knew there would be other people there, I was surprised at how many there were. And at the ones who were dragging in wagons or carts or suitcases on wheels. We hadn't even brought bags!
Well we walked in the door and were hit with the site of rows and rows of dvds, cds, and books. This was a conference center sized area and it was filled with tables overflowing with books. Half the tables had books and DVDs underneath as well. It was insane.
At the entrance some people were selling bags for $1, so my friend and I quickly bought some and began searching. After five minutes in the DVDs my head was reeling from the over simulation. My DVD collection is fairly complete right now, so I switched to the books which were easier for my eyes to process (bigger type and all).
Wow. There was almost no organization other than fiction, non-fiction, and children's. There might be ten of the same title, but they were spread out over twenty tables. You walked and walked and walked and grabbed whatever you wanted and walked and read and processed...
I loved it. I crammed my bag with every title possible. I found lovely hardcover copies of books I'd been wanting for awhile, and paperbacks in good condition. There were three items that I paid $3 apiece for, but most everything I got was $2 or $1. I stocked up on fantasy novels that a friend has been recommending to me. I nearly completed my Phillipa Gregory collection. I found a classic I'd been meaning to read. I got a copy of "The Hobbit." And then I found several books with interesting titles and premises that were New York Times bestsellers and I thought "Well, I'll give them a try." The ones I've read so far have been great. I also got two DVDs.
I spent less than $50 for about 20 volumes, and told my friend "I'm going to have to sneak these in so my parents don't see how many I got." We're sort of running out of bookshelf room.
Anyhow, it was book heaven.