Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Salon: The Friends of the Library

The libraries here, as in many places around the country, are facing a serious budget crisis. In order to help staunch the blood a bit, they have been having book sales. The first sale consisted of mostly culled library books. Sadly, they had a lot to sell as they've closed quite a few branches. Happily the sale was reasonably successful. This next sale is not former library books. It is comprised mainly of donated books.

I tend to keep a stack of books I am ready to part with in a closet in the basement. Bookish friends and family members know to look in the closet to see if there's anything there they are interested in snagging for themselves. I also use the closet contents when I hold my neighborhood bookswap. Since it was getting close to time for one of those, my closet was full. But instead of my usual, I decided to bag them all up and deliver them and myself to the library sale.

I took my teenaged son with me and we spent the next four hours helping to sort and stack donated books in their assigned categories. (Well, I spent the four hours doing that; he kept getting waylaid by a Garfield book that he found highly entertaining and forgetting to help.) Sorting through donations, it is amazing the sheer breadth of books out there. There was a pair of 1904 Mark Twain books and a 1980's Color Me Beautiful make-up guide book. There were current bestsellers and complete unknowns. There were completely obscure interest books and some books that were just baffling. My personal favorite was one called The Total Woman by Marabel Morgan, a book predicated on the idea that the man is the Head of the Household and he must be catered to, humored, deferred to, and occasionally treated to a genuflection. OK, I made up the last bit but the book is really that ridiculous. Surprisingly, now that I've checked the reviews on amazon, there are many that are overwhelmingly positive. And here I was thinking of filing it in the humor section. It did give all of us some serious chuckles though when I did a few dramatic readings out of it.

I won't be able to make the sale itself since I am out of town so I'm glad I had a chance to help out in my own small way now. Sorting can be fun and if you are anything of a voyeur about other people's books like I am, doing something like this is fascinating. My closet is clean again, just waiting for a new infusion of books ready for new homes. My son's community service hours for this last quarter of school are finished and signed off on. And a large amount of books for the sale are sorted into their appropriate categories. Win-win-win all the way around. And for people in the Charlotte area, the Friends of the Library sale is the last weekend in April in the Quail Corners Shopping Center on Park Road. Go support your library! There's great stuff there. I know because I brought some of it.

This week in my reading, I spent time learning to appreciate the slower pace of life after the frenetic pace of working is gone, I learned the course of grief is long and personal, and I uncovered long hidden family secrets in the course of healing from a divorce. Where did you spend your hours between the pages?

1 comment:

  1. That's great that you've been supporting your library. There are budget cuts here too, but luckily not any closures near me. I practically lived in my library as a child and would hate for others to be denied that experience.


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