My family and I were out at the Mahon Library yesterday, that's the main branch of the public libraries here in Lubbock TX for their Friends of the Library book sale: two items I'd like to speak to: first, one parent's reason for not getting a book for his daughter; second, the ton of books we got.
So, as to the first point: I'm looking through the YA shelf trying to fill in some glaring oversights in my own collection, when I hear a girl ask her dad whether she can by a copy of some title (now I wish I had been paying more careful attention to the title itself). His question wasn't, "Well, how much is it?" ($3 if it was a hardback; $1 for paperback on this side of the sale, though across the floor a ways hardbacks were 4 for $1 (that's 25 pennies each!!!) and 8 paperbacks for $1: more on this when I get to point 2). Nope, the dad pointed out that she'd already read this book and so he wouldn't pay the measely sum. I mean, she had read it, and so why make a book that she wanted to make part of her collection a part of her collection, right? It was like wasting that money, right? Nevermind that he's probably got a ton of DVDs at home of his favorite movies (I'm assuming this to be the case, but you get the point: we buy DVDs of films we love b/c we love them and want them to be part of our collections; we take pictures of our kids at one portrait studio or another in spite of having lived first-hand through our kids' lives, and yet we pay huge prices for this pics, b/c we love our kids and want to remember them just this way when they're grown and no longer "just this way.") The girl tried again, but to no avail. What a loser of a dad this guy was. I don't mean he's not out for her absolute good; I'm not saying he beats her unmercifully; or that this one moment in the girl's life will make of her an illiterate. The girl's most likely going to turn out just fine, if not better than most. After all, she's at a book sale at a library on a Saturday afternoon. But for the dad to pass up on a huge chance like this to show her the importance of owning books, especially books that we love, well, the guy blew it. And I blew it for not saying so. I was just struck dumb that a dad would say no to a book, and one that cost so little.
Point two: the other section of the book sale: I gave the prices above: that's dead-on accurate, no lie. My wife and I walked out of the joint with two bags full of books, mostly for our boys, but a couple for Tina and more than a couple for me. Here's a list of the hardback, seemingly unused, practically new books I got: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Choldenko, Bull Run by Fleischman, Johnny Chesthair by Lynch, Shadow of the Red Moon by Myers & Myers, An Island Like You by Ortiz Cofer, Milkweed by Spinelli, Probably Still Nick Swansen by Wolff, and Hush by Woodson. In addition, I got a paperback (my second copy and meant as a giveaway) of Zuzak's Figthing Ruben Wolff. What a deal. I can't wait to the next Friends sale.