Reading Life 25

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.


ashjoh said...

That is so disappointing for that little girl! You have a good point about the DVD's though. If you think about it, will you let the class know next time there is a sale?

Jessica Howard said...

oohhhh man! i wish i had known about this sale! and no offense to parents these days... but I feel like a lot of people need to own up on their parenting skills! seriously.... think about whats important for your kids, and not whats important to your bank account or philosophies on what to buy based on whether you have already read it or not. (In fact, I go back and buy a lot of books that I have already read, if I didn't already own them!)

Rene Saldana, Jr. said...

Jessica: Quite a few of the books I've got in my library, and those my boys have, are books I've/they've read before and want copies of. It only makes sense. I like something, I want to make it part of my collection.

Ashley: The way I found out about this sale, like I said, was by way of a quick TV ad that I could've missed except that my wife saw it. I did go online to Lubbock Public Libraries' site, and there's a link to the Friends of the Library, on which they make announcements. I'm going to make that a favorite and check it ocassionally. But definitely, count on my passing word along as soon as I find it out.

Cape said...

I wish I had known about the sale - too bad more attention isn't given to literature (and other cultural events) and less to whatever concert is coming to town (no offense to any George Strait fans).

poet_demas said...

The nerve of some parents. But I see that almost everyday down here, and sadly with my own family. I think the only reason I'm broke all the time is because I can't say no--unless the book is useless (um...like those books that have no words in them)--when my nieces and nephews beg to read.

-----> Onto a better topic, and more reminiscent than anything. About a week before graduation, the new convention center in McAllen & the McAllen Public Library had a huge sale on books--$5 a bag!!! I went to down with that, lying to my friends and to Jeanna that they were mostly for donation (what can I say, I love books!) for the Evin's Juvenile Detention Center (Sigma Tau Delta was doing a book drive along with Emmy Perez). Most of the books that were for sale didn't fit the criteria that Evin's wanted, meaning they were hardcovers. We managed though. Most of the books we donated--about 1000, or close to--went out just last week. Sadly, I wasn't a part of it.

Okay, I said a mouthful.

Karen Costales said...

hi, rene, it's fun to read your stuff here. so you heard deb & russ's news? i'll be going to the rgv for dad's 50th anniv party end of april/early may. just wanted to say hi--greet tina for me. oh, are you on facebook yet? finding so many college friends there. blessing to y'all....karen