Here's the thing: the annual block sale was going on, so there were about 2 dozen sales crammed into a small area, which in turn was jammed with pedestrians, plus cars were still trying to crawl along one of the streets. This made biking impractical to impossible, so I decided to go ahead and stash my bike somewhere. Except that it's actually my brother's and he doesn't have a lock, so the only place I felt safe putting it was at the library. This added an extra mile or so I had to cover both ways on foot, but turns out that was TOTALLY WORTH IT because: there is a new sale cart at the library.
A cart for YA/teen books.
Where hardcovers are 25 cents and paperbacks are free. Where hardcovers are 25 cents and paperbacks are free.
And then I saw the prices, and realized holy hell, these actually could be mine. And I practically started skipping 'round the room. I started yanking books at a phenomenal rate, piling them up and shivering with joy. It's like when my dog sinks her teeth into a brand-new plush toy and starts ripping it apart. I was in ecstasy. Let me tell you what I got, complete with explanations:
1. Evil in the Attic: Linda Piazza. This book scared the hell out of me when I read it at 9. Like, it's one of those books I remembered all my life because I was terrified of the attic door leading off my room for months. And I know I was 9, but I'm pretty sure it will still send shivers down my back.
2. Sweetgrass: Jan Hudson. Native American stories FTW! It's nowhere near the size of my horse books collection, but it's a genre I like to add to whenever possible.
3. Beans on Toast: Shelley Hrdlitschka. You know, it's a girl who plays flute at a summer band camp. I find it adorable and endearing.
4. Secrets of the Shopping Mall: Richard Peck. It's a thoroughly 80's novel, right down to the mass trade-paperback format, which is half the reason I love it. The other half is that it involves runaway teens living in the mall. WISH FULFILLMENT.
5. Summer's Chance: Patricia Harrison Easton. Horse story! More or less; it's also a girl/grandma story & summertime.
6. Mercy's Birds: Linda Holeman.
[EDIT: Just found my reading list. I gave it 1 star. Hahaha! Maybe I just remember loving the cover.]
7. Double Vision: Diana Hendry. This is one I actually haven't read, but it looked interesting, and seeing as it was free...the back cover promises "a postwar [WWII, I think] family with three daughters" and makes comparisons to Jane Austen. So I was completely there.
8. Staring Down the Dragon: Dorothea Buckingham. Another one I haven't read, but it looks like an interesting take that hasn't really been done before - a cancer survivor returning to high school.
9. Brothers of the Heart: Joan Blos. I don't even remember this one, only that I adored it. Something to do with 19th century meeting between white settler and Indian healer.
[EDIT: Original reading list time again. I gave it a 2. MEMORY, SHAPE UP.]
10. Pine Hollow #16, Track Record: Bonnie Bryant. "Saddle Club all grown up" wasn't nearly as much fun as the original series, but I have only one representative from said series in my library, and this was sitting there all by its lonesome, so I took it.
11-13. Weetzie Bat & Witch Baby & Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys: Francesca Lia Block. Not the pretty-cover versions I've always wanted, but it's the word-art text inside that counts, right? Also: free. These are the first Block books I've acquired for my very own.
****14. Buff: A Collie: Albert Payson Terhune. This gets a whole bunch of stars to draw your attention because SERIOUSLY, WHOA. First of all, I love this author; wrote a whole slew of incredible dog books back in the 20s. This one's a clearly later edition, but it can't be more recent than early 60s, and it's in amazing condition, just a little bent at the corners and such. And this is the book that I just, I would have wept if it had disappeared without my knowledge. Been a staple on the shelf for such a long time, fighting for space with its old, faded-looking cover between all the glossy new books. I'm kind of amazed it lasted this long, now that I think about it. But now it's safe with me. Squee-dance! (alas, the Lad story that always accompanied it is nowhere in sight. I'm guessing it got yanked simultaneously and has already been sold)
15. Thunderwith: Libby Hathorn. The title is the name of a wild dog in Australia, so named because he appeared during a storm ("With thunder you'll come and with thunder you'll go"), but I named my first sim Mustang stallion that, in part because my sim character, Kat, had an Australian background. My Thunderwith is the whole center of my sim horse world, spawning a 100+ descendants down five generations before the club petered out. I'm guessing that makes no sense, so for simplicity's sake, let's call him a character in a story built in a world almost as complex as Tolkien's. This book is vitally centric to my childhood.
16-17. Country of Broken Stone & The Voyage Begun: Nancy Bond. I love the first one far more than the second - a perfect summer read: English girl's American stepmother packs her family off to Northumberland for the summer to excavate an archaeological site, and it's all very summery and quaint/rustic/rural setting. The second one is less interesting (as I recall, it took me a good 2 weeks to fight through the first time), and I almost didn't get it, but then they made such a matched pair, both 80's and oversized hardcovers with the glossy library wrap and similar illustrations, that I couldn't part them.
18. Buffalo Woman: Dorothy Johnson. Pretty sure I've read it, but don't remember much. Only that it's a Native American story, and wonderful. And a lot thicker than Sweetgrass.
19. Danger Dog: Lynn Hall. Lynn Hall is another author whose total works I mean to collect someday, so I figure this is a good start. It's horribly depressing, all about a kid trying to rehabilitate a trained attack/guard dog after he mistakes the mailman for an intruder and bites him, but it's beautifully written.
20. No More Saturday Nights: Norma Klein. OK, it's really not that good, but I just read it last summer and it seemed a shame to let it pass out so soon. It's about a single teen father, but as it was published in 1988, it's kind of twisty because at the time was still a fairly new/unique subject. It's got a nice 80's feel. And it's really pretty fascinating reading about him trying to navigate his first year at college while caring for a baby.
21. The Moon by Night: Madeline L'Engle: Forget the stupid A Wrinkle in Time books, it's Meet the Austins that have endeared this author to me. This is the second book in the miniseries, and while it's not the best or even a first edition (try 14th printing?), it is a good solid 60's story. Also I sort of have a love of books with that glossy library wrap. All shiny.
22. Home Sweet Home: Hey there, sweet lil' 80's novel! Read this last year as well (what, was my checking them out the kiss of death or something?), and it's just a cute city-girl-moves-to-country-hicksville story.
23. Agnes Cecilia: Maria Gripe. Agnes Cecilia is a doll. A doll that sometimes seems alive. It's an excellently written, semi-paranormal mystery. I loved this book to pieces when I first read it, so I may have squeaked a bit when I saw it and grabbed it with such enthusiasm that it shot off the shelf and hit the floor.
24. No Promises in the Wind: Irene Hunt. Haven't read this one, but it looked interesting. Set in the Great Depression
25. It All Began with Jane Eyre: Sheila Greenwald. I find this book adorable for the fact that it's middle-school main character starts off curled up in a cozy closet, eating chips and reading the title book, and considers this to be heaven.
26. Winter of the Owl: June Hanson. Horse book! This elicited a muted squeal, as horse books are not in ample supply around here in the first place, much less a sale cart.
That's right. 26 books - although I'm kinda counting the Block books as 1 because they're *so* thin, so...let's say 24 books - for $3.25. God, I love my library.
Luckily, Mom was home so I called her to come with the car and take my piles of treasure home, and proceeded to go explore the actual garage sales. I had fun; petted a couple of dogs and went through one house that was having an estate sale, which was just full of amazing old stuff to look at. And made a mental note that when I get my own apartment, it should be in the spring so that I can promptly spend the summer furnishing it with garage sale finds There were more shelves, desks, chairs and tables than I could shake a stick at.
I came away with a few more treasures: after using all my willpower to resist a couple of adorable/soft stuffed animals, I ended up with
-Nina Gordon's "Tonight and the Rest of My Life" CD (now that I don't have an MP3 player, CDs are the only way I can listen to music to fall asleep) - I love the title track; maybe I'll like more of her stuff
-"Save the Last Dance" on VHS, but in still-shrinkwrapped VHS so it won't be run down or otherwise in bad shape. I have wanted to see this movie forever and only managed brief clips, but I just know I'm going to love it and probably want my own copy afterwards. I still have a working VCR at home, so this format is OK.
-Pizza cutter for immediate use at school and a nutcracker for addition to the secret little stockpile of "stuff I will eventually need when I permanently have my own place to live." I also got yet more books:
Winterdance - Gary Paulsen. I love his writing; this is his nonfiction account of running in the Iditarod.
Sounder - William Armstrong. Because it makes me all nostalgic for 4th grade.
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte, Signet Classic (1997) edition. Because I realized, tragically, that we still somehow do not have a copy of this in our house. And it's in really great shape despite being a paperback. Only a couple small wrinkles on the corners.
Sorceress - Celia Rees. Awesome. Sequel to "Witch Child," which is such an amazing book that it's actually on my "books I might buy new" list, I always wanted the sequel too. And now here it is. In absolutely pristine, off-the-bookstore-shelf paperback. For fifty cents.
It Could Happen to Anyone & A Girl Like Me & Phoebe. So, I think I have figured out that teen-pregnancy novels are to me what romance novels are to the general adult female population. Except without the fantastic love story in there, so really, I don't know why they keep appealing to me. And yet they do. These, however, are hilariously fantastic because they're 1960's teen pregnancy stories. The girls are "in trouble." It cracks Mom up because she's like "Yes! That's how it was! Shame! And only the girls were 'in trouble,' never the guys." Anyway, these were 10 cents apiece, literally like cheap dime-store novels. They're pretty much an awesome journey to the culture of the past, is what I'm saying.
1970's Algebra 1 textbook. Because it was free, and I am a dork who likes doing middle-school math problems for fun. Because I might be awful at math now, but I was awesome at the type of math we did back then, and it still brings me a sense of joy and satisfaction to solve for X with basic rules.
Sum total spent at garage sales: $3.85
GRAND TOTAL FOR DAY: $7.10. 30+ books, a video, a CD, and a couple of kitchen items for $7.10. Is it any wonder I love garage sales so much? (OK, yeah, most of the great deals/best prizes were from the library, but shh!)