Thursday, September 22, 2011


Or, Haul.

I made the trek over to the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library's 50th annual big f*ing book sale. The sale takes place in the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason, a 50,000 square foot warehouse, with row upon row of book-filled tables. The books cover all topics, and are dirt cheap (which somehow leads to spending way more than you'd think). It's like being at the biggest garage sale in your life, except they give you a shopping cart.

Which I put to good use.

I thought the sale was Thursday-Sunday, but it actually started on Tuesday! On Sunday, every single item is $1. Not that going earlier is going to hurt the wallet, unless you buy books like the end of the world is tomorrow, like I do. (Apparently, I expect to be stuffing my coat full of old paper when the world ends, like in The Day After Tomorrow.)

Besides the usual steep-discount-sale pitfalls like buying things you don't need or want, and having to lug all the loot back home, and tramping about on cement floors for hours, the one drawback of this sale is that once the books were sorted into a gross category, they aren't organized any further. I left the fiction areas pretty early on, because there's only so many times you can see Frank Herbert and J.R.R. Tolkien before you decide there's no way you'll find something worthwhile, and after pulling out an interesting needlework book, left the "How-To; Crafts" area; again, only so much quilting and beginner's wiring one can take before deciding there aren't any knitting books.
So, those are my new aquisitions, in the above photo. I've got a bunch of art books, a couple of cooking and craft books (including a Joy of Cooking from 1953, which may or may not contain roadkill recipes), some french short stories (I was unwilling to sift through all the Foreign Language section books in Russian to try to find any Maupassant or Balzac in French), and several pieces of fiction. (Ok, so once I saw the "Fiction; Classics" section, I tottered right over to pluck some interesting old editions of things I like.)

Also, in the right-hand background of the top picture, you can see the books and sheet music I got for gifts. I mean, seriously. Getting an old-school cloth-bound copy of a favorite book is a great gift, especially when it cost $4.
All in all, a fun day! I am really tired, though; hauling my ass home on two buses with something like 70lbs. of books in a backpack and a paper bag turns out to be hard work. (Next year, I'll have the foresight to go with someone who has a car.)

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