Monday, March 12th, 2012

A Smorgasbord of Books

SmorgasbordI had another major #bookfail this weekend, what with the local library hosting their winter book sale.

I was disappointed last year, having picked up only a few things, but this year, I got lucky. Or not. Depending on your point of view.

(The Husband of Awesome™ is, of course, shaking his head in resigned acceptance. He knows I can’t help myself. It’s a sickness.)

This year I picked up eight bags of books. I looked like a crazy person pushing my overflowing cart to the front counter to pay. And I was not embarrassed in the least when one of the bags spilled out all over the floor, and someone’s four-year-old stooped to help me pick them up.

Right on, Mama! I was thinking. Get the kids addicted from an early age.

I should note that several of the (ahem, 200+ books) are hardbacks which will be replacing some of the paperbacks on my shelves. And at least 30 of the procured books were picked up for other folks.

But what made this sale awesome was that someone had cleaned out their collection. Many of the books I purchased were wrapped in plastic, collector’s bags. They’re in fine condition and included several of the “Year’s Best” anthologies.

I’m in heaven. (When I’m not thinking that this collector has died, instead of switching over his collection to ebooks.)

Getting these books is a little like heading off on my monthly grocery shopping trip. You know the one: the trip necessitated by only having ramen in the cupboard and even the pickles and olives in the fridge are growing mold.)

What? You don’t shop every four-to-six weeks?

Well, ok, I do shop for fresh bread and cream for the coffee as needed, but the rest waits for The Big Trip.

The problem is, when I get home from a trip like that, I want to sample everything.

I want to make a deli sandwich on fresh bread. Eat fresh fruit. Break into the rice pudding. Eat some mint chocolate chip ice cream. Nibble on the vienna finger cookies. Boil some eggs. Open the chips and dip. And salsa.

You know what I mean? (Or am I just a crazy person?)

But that’s just how it’s been with these books. I’m taking a few off the top, some from the middle, and a few from deep down in the sacks and reading a chapter here and a chapter there.

They’re all so good, I don’t know which to put down and which to finish. I’m halfway through two of them. Three-quarters through another, and on the first two-to-four chapters in several others.

I hate to admit it, but there is one book that’s been sitting on the dresser in which I have only the last page to read. The last page! I got interrupted when I was reading and put it down, and haven’t finished it off.

At first, that was just funny, and now I’m trying to figure out how long I can stand it.

What about you? How do you go through your stacks of books? One at a time or several?