Monday, March 30, 2009

Dangers Lurk at Every Corner

Over the weekend, GF-Unit and I headed to the Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa Book Sale. I love books and book sales. Which can be a bad thing for me, too often I can not resist buying a book, only to have that book sit on a shelf for years and years unread. I read as much as I can, but limited time (and reading speed) tend to destroy my plans to read many books. When moving into my house after college, I packed up box after box after box of books - many read but many also left unread for years to donate to the local goodwill. I had boxes full of all kinds of books - how to, fiction, autobiography, non-fiction, sci-fi, novels, hardbound, paperback, and everything in between. I could easily spend an afternoon at Half Price Books in Des Moines, or The Master's Library in Cedar Falls (sadly now closed I believe) and walk out with a box or two full of books and a wallet $100 lighter...and this happened many times. I could remember buying most and my intentions for reading them, but my tastes went elsewhere.

Nowadays, I tend to try to be a little more discriminating and try to plan to read everything I buy within a one year period. This policy in itself seems uncomplicated but when you factor in upcoming releases, recommended books, interesting things I stumble across, loss of focus, various time is difficult to plan this all out while at a sale. But I try. So I kept my diet of books light this sale, concentrating on books that I don't see to often or belong to a series I have already started reading.

I wouldn't say that I found anything too amazing or got any totally outstanding deals...but I got some things that I have wanted for a little while. I picked up several of the books in the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L'Engle. I re-read Wrinkle a couple months ago (first time I have read it since fifth grade) with the intention of reading the rest of the series. So these were kind of a planned purchase. I also found a book by Lloyd Alexander (the Black Cauldron) that I hadn't read (another childhood favorite but our library only had a small selection). A few books in the series Bio of a Space Tyrant by Piers Anthony (Hetero-Life Pal CT got me into these after I read Incarnations...but I never finished the series). A few Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series books - I've only read the original trilogy. The second novel in the Golden Compass trilogy. A few other random novels that I have been wanting to read. Not a great haul, but for $30 not too bad.

I think the Planned Parenthood sale is great but there is so much there, that it can be a little disorienting. There are SO many books. They are broken down into very general categories like: Novels, Fiction, Sci-Fi, Hardcover, Paperback, Childrens, DIY, etc... For me that is a great start, but I can guarantee that if they were also in order by either Author or Title that I would be much more inclined to buy a much larger selection of books. I am sure it is cost prohibitive in both time and money but this would allow me to grab the books I really wanted first before going through all the rest. As it is, I think twice before picking up a book because I am not sure if I will want to carry it around while I scan the spines on table after table of books. Sure I will find something I didn't know I wanted through the random scanning but it wastes so much time of what could be confirmed sales if I was able to find the books I wanted faster and easier. I could do my initial shopping within 30 minutes if they were sorted and then go back for randoms and it takes me 2 hours to just to get through half the tables that might find something interesting on.

Can't wait till the fall sale.

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