Book Sale Weekend

Every year St. Francis Episcopal Church, around the corner from my house, hosts a 3 day book sale extravaganza. Tens of thousands of books, donated year-round are put up for sale and people come from all over the region to find their treasures. Usually, I'm there on their preview night (or early the next morning) to grab the good titles.

This year, however, I decided to wait until the last day to make an appearance. The decision to wait was partly financial (on the last day books are cheaper) and partly strategic. Most of the books that remain by day 3 are either those for which they have 100s of copies (and subsequently not books I'm interested in) or those that are a bit more on the obscure side. I knew if I waited, there would be fewer books that I'd feel the need to bring home. Given my lack of shelf space, I thought that a good thing.

So my partner in crime and I hit the sale on $10 bag day. Most years I have no problem filling one or two bags to the brim but this year I wasn't so confident. I decided to be ultra picky. I would only  bring home books in near-fine condition, only first printings and only titles I honestly wanted to read. In a sea of well-worn Faye Kellerman, Nora Roberts, and John Grisham titles, this narrowed my options tremendously.

Tracy, on the other hand went for poetry books. Apparently NO ONE buys poetry books at this sale because she could've filled the entire bag until it was bursting with just poetry. Even after being picky, I think she managed to bring home 22 books of poetry (so thin that they filled only half the bag). And as for me, I left the book sale with its thousands of books, having only bought 3. Seriously. I mean how many of you can say that on $10/bag day that you left a sale with just 3 books? There's a certain amount of pride in that statement for me. A sense of willpower. And yes, I am impressed with myself.

The three books that I bought? (Don't laugh):

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (Grand Central Publishing, March 2010)
Listing for between $4-$40 in near-fine condition (unsigned) over on ABE Books.

Grahame-Smith's books are collectible because they're odd and the first of the horror-classic mash-up genre. His first in this series was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009), followed by Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (2010), Unholy Night (2012), and The Last American Vampire (2015) - sequel to Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

A Fistful of Collars by Spencer Quinn (Atria Books, September 2012)
Listing for between $7-$12 on ABE Books.

Tracy likes this series and I know she'd not read this one yet. One of the book collecting gurus that I used to follow predicted that Quinn's debut novel Dog On It would be highly collectible (although, I think signed it might be valued at $30 in the current market). Honestly, I just like the premise of having a dog be the main character / narrator. It speaks to my sense of the absurd (and my love of dogs).

The Mayor's Tongue by Nathaniel Rich (Riverhead Books, 2008)
Listing for between $5-$20 (unsigned) on ABE Books.

Book synopsis: "In this debut novel, hailed by Stephen King as 'terrifying, touching, and wildly funny,' the stories of two strangers, Eugene Brentani and Mr. Schmitz, interweave. What unfolds is a bold reinvention of storytelling in which Eugene, a devotee of the reclusive and monstrous author, Constance Eakins, and Mr. Schmitz, who has been receiving ominous letters from an old friend, embark from New York for Italy, where the line between imagination and reality begins to blur and stories take on a life of their own."

Not really a collectible, but the cover appealed to my design sense, and it sounded like a good read.

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