I have loved libraries since I was a little boy. They’ve always been havens of peace and quiet, and of knowledge and entertainment.
I spent more time there as an adolescent student, not just for homework but delving deep into things that would shape my future careers. Living in a capitol city since age nine, I discovered early not only state libraries, but state legal libraries. (Even at age twelve or so, I knew the librarians at the state legal library must have worried about the strange kid who was studying lethal force law, but they were still patient and helpful.)
Every now and then in my present travels, I find a big part of a day free, and if there’s nothing else of interest in town my default is the local public library.
And before leaving, I always check out the “discarded books for sale” section. Sometimes they’re duplicates of something current that won’t fit on the shelves. Sometimes they’re titles that didn’t gather much popularity in town, but might be of interest to you or me.
I had the good fortune recently to drop by my current local library on the last day of their annual Book Sale Days. Lo and behold, they were cleaning them out at ten cents per hardcover copy.
Trying not to be a hog, and not owning a wheelbarrow in any case, I limited myself to eleven books.
They all had their book jackets intact, ten of which had their sale price imprinted thereon. One, a 1992 novel by ex-LAPD detective Joseph Wambaugh that I didn’t remember reading when it came out, curiously didn’t have a price mark. The other ten, though, added up to an average of @23.37 cover price.
I bought those eleven books for a total tally of a dollar bill and a dime.
Did I mention that I’ve always loved libraries?