Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Used Book Still Reads Just as Good (Or is it Well?)

Photo by Evan Brandt

These are just a few of the books that will be available tomorrow and Saturday for the Friends of the Pottstown Library Used Book Sale.

So if you're anything like me, you have more books than you know what to do with.

We have piles in the bedrooms, over-stuffed bookcases, windowsills and even on the stairs on the way up to the attic.

And, if you're anything more like me, you have still to read many of them.

One would think, then, that I don't need to look for occasions to obtain more.

Well, one would be wrong.

The history book I am currently reading. In
I got him to sign it for me. Am I a geek or what?
That's why, among all the myriad things going on this weekend in Pottstown, I'm quietly thrilled about the used book sale being put on by the Friends of the Pottstown Library.

It will be held Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(In fact, I will admit that I toyed with the idea of not posting this information so I could have more books to myself to paw through.)

About the time you are reading this post, the volunteers from the friends will be putting up tables and setting up the sale, down in the meeting room in the basement of the library.

At the last sale I went to (with former Mercury Business Editor Michelle Karas, another book fanatic), I have found a nice, well-thumbed copy of Moby Dick with tiny print which I can put in my bookcase so people will think I've read it often. (Still on my list).

One reason I like to buy these books at the library, usually not more than $2 or $3, is that I never know what I'm going to read next and in my house, I usually have at least two books going at the same time: one history book and another just for fun.

I just finished "Crucible of Gold," the seventh in a series I am addicted to and, as is my habit, posted a short review on where I keep track of what I've read and share it with a group of fellow bibliophiles.

Here is the review below:

Crucible of Gold (Temeraire, #7)Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The seventh in this series, I was amazed to realize, I have to confess that while I enjoy them, so much time (and so many books) pass between the latest and the last I've read that I sometimes don't remember who some of the lesser characters are.

Nonetheless, Novik has sustained the tone, which is why I read them.

These books were once described as "Lord of the Rings meets Master and Commander" and that does about cover it.

I would recommend them to anyone who likes to mix the stiff-upper lip of Napoleonic-era Brits with more than a bit of whimsy.

When I've finished this, I'll post a short review
on GoodReads
View all my reviews

Now I've started "The Welsh Girl," on my wife's recommendation. While I like to read constantly,
she reads voraciously and, because she knows my tastes, is my best recommender for what to read next.

George W. Bush may have been "The Decider," but Karen Maxfield is "The Recommender."

In order to minimize the impact of this compulsion to be surrounded by books, and to keep from bankrupting our always teetering finances, Karen and I buy the books cheap, usually at library sales.

And the tasty rationalization that accompanies it is that we're helping out the library and the same time we are, Gollum-like, hovering over the book tables, nervous that some other shopper may find a coveted title and snatch it up before we can.

As we like to say here in The Mercury newsroom, not only is this a great story, but it has the added advantage of being true.

You see the library really does need the help.

I know because I'm trying to help out with their strategic planning committee and the fact of the matter is, every year is a near thing. The building has finally secured a new roof -- barely -- and now needs more funds to upgrade the top floor into something useful.

Although Pottstown Borough levies a tax to support the library, and provides the Lion's Share of the local funding, the surrounding townships haven't increased their contribution in years and, often enough, make noises about cutting it back.

So go to the sale.

Buy books.

Buy a lot of them.

And if you can't go this weekend, there is another sale on Friday, Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

And if you can't make either of those, you can always purchase the books for sale in the Book Nook, just to the left when you walk through the library's front doors.

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