Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Into the bowels of the bowels of the library

Saturday, my wife, my friend and I went to a book sale at the Edmonton Public Library. These sales apparently happen three to four times per year. If I’d been informed of this earlier, my book collection would be much, much bigger.

This sale was incredible. It was held in the parking garage below the downtown library in Edmonton, Alberta. The books were placed spine-up on tables from one end of the garage to the other. When we got in, it was hard to tell where the line of tables ended. It was actually pretty intimidating.

However, we split up and plunged into the chaos that is bargain-hunting. Every eight-foot table had at least seven people, scanning the titles, hoping for that ONE book that would make the trip downtown worth it. I was no different. Any book that had the appearance of fantasy or even the illusion that I might like it, I grabbed and threw into a box. (Boxes that were left there, presumably after having carried the books to the tables in the first place)

Toward the end of my grab-and-stow, I was kicking two big boxes full of books. (My wife had come and dropped two large armfuls of books into the boxes). Satisfied, for the moment, with my haul, I dragged the boxes over to one side and began to sort.

I knew that I would not be willing to carry this many books to the car (My wife is pregnant and, while she may insist on pulling her weight, I won't let her) so I sat and scanned the backs of the books for something that would make me want to read them.

Gone were three "fantasy" romance novels, though if I could have torched them rather than just put them in the discard box, I would have.

Gone was the Shogun-era murder-mystery.

Gone was the historical fiction about Nazi Germany (silly me, I'd thought it was a history book.)

And gone were some genuine fantasy books that just didn't hold my interest.

I waffled back and forth about Elmore Leonard books. I like his writing style but I wasn't sure. In the end, they made it into the box.

Here, now, is the list of books that I bought at the book sale:

Sir Apropos of Nothing - Peter David

Two (2) Elmore Leonard books

Lord Valentine's Castle - Robert Silverberg (I believe this is the first Majipoor book)

CS Lewis' biography

Two (2) David Gemmel books about some assassin (I'm not familiar with Gemmel but I hear he's pretty good)

Taliesin and Arthur by Stephen Lawhead (Now I just have to find Merlin)

Two(2) Conan books by Robert Howard

Rebekah by Orson Scott Card

A collection of short stories by Stephen R. Donaldson

I would have gotten more but time was an issue and my wife had easily more than I did. Carrying the books we bought up three flights of stairs to street level was more than enough work for a Saturday.

In the end, we bought a large box of books (some of my wife's were pretty valuable) for twenty-eight dollars. (Hard cover books were two dollars, paperbacks were fifty cents.)

Most promising book: Lord Valentine's Castle. I'm curious about the Majipoor series.

First book read: Sir Apropos of Nothing - something about this book just caught my attention

.Best book found: My friend found a book on how to impersonate Elvis. Is this the best book ever? I don't know.

As it is, my book collection is now somewhat bigger, my wife and I are both happy in our purchases and my need for new books has been sated – until the next book sale.


Dylan said...

I have the Lawhead trilogy. It sucks but I read all 6,000,000 pages of it.
Also, isn't it funny that you refer to the elmore Leonard books as "Elmore Leonard books" and not by title. After all, THEY ARE ALL THE SAME!

Liam J. said...

It's like you don't mention Mack Bolan books by the title. Like anyone's going to remember "Lightning Strike" as opposed to "Concussive Force" or "Deadly Target".

Why did you read it if you hated it so much?

Beatrice said...

Peter David is a great writer. I've read most of his Star Trek stuff, but I've never read any of his original fiction. I am sure it was probably a good read.

Liam J. said...

Sir Apropos of Nothing was a good book. It was very fast-paced. It didn't break any moulds or anything but it was very entertaining.

Lord Valentine's Castle has lost a lot of its lustre. I've read a bit of it and I'm finding it very hard to get into. And it was a two-dollar book. Stupid hard-covers, costing so much.

Rebekah's pretty good so far.

A Canticle for Liebowitz is very strange.

Liam J. said...

My goodness! I looked at the list of books, just now, and realized that I'd left a lot of them out. A Canticle for Liebowitz is one. Another one is Gulliver's Travels. There was a random book (I felt the need to test my luck - it doesn't look like it was very good) I'm sure I'm still missing some but I bought other used books that weekend and I can't keep them all straight.

dizzle pizzle said...

Can't keep them straight? Probably because all those choices are ga-ay...

Liam J. said...

Whatever you say, Confederacy of Dunces.

Best book ever, my ass!