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Legend of the Book Seeker

So, the local Half Price books moved about half a mile away to a bigger location and is holding a 4-day Grand Opening event where each day you get a specific coupon for 40, 30, 20 or 50% off your highest item.  I checked it out Thursday, came back to use another coupon yesterday, can't really justify the gas for a 20% discount today, but am forcing at least one parent if not both to acquire their own 50% coupons and ideally spend them on me tomorrow. 

I have never in my life seen this much I wanted to buy at Half Price. I mean, everywhere. Everywhere, there are things I want!  Things I need!  Things I love!  It is like these shelves are soaked with magic dust and just spontaneously generate my dream store.  In fact, am I dreaming?  Because this was like one of those dreams where I find everything I want at a garage sale, BUT REAL.  I'm staring at the proof right now. 

Total spent to date: $14.66 and I expect I'll be at $20-25 by the time I force myself to stop splurging as though I make three figures a week.  My inner rich person has a list of roughly 50 titles she'd be heading to the counter with.
 
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield.  Hey, remember how I keep flailing about this being one of the best books I've ever read?  I almost bought it new off eBay when I saw it for $8 last month, but resisted, and now it is mine for slightly less!  I don't know how popular it is, but when I went to look for it, I found three copies stacked in a row with the cover facing out to attract attention.  Now I wonder if it might have made its way to clearance one day...but whatever, brand new hardcover, unblemished, mine!

Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World - Vicki Myron.  I didn't flail about this publicly, but when I read it a couple of weeks ago, REST ASSURED THAT I FLAILED A LOT IN PRIVATE and immediately stuck it at the very top of my wish list. This, too, was stacked 3 deep with its cover facing out (seriously, book fairies, you are spoiling me), and I had one in my arms. BUT THEN, as I stood near Dad in the disorganized nonfiction clearance and scanned it for the third time, I found a totally identical (hardcover) copy that had been put in clearance for only $2!

A Dog Named Christmas - Greg Kincaid.  Hey, remember that adorable Hallmark movie based on the novel?  I kept meaning to read this but of course the library had a zillion requests and I forgot about it.  Then I saw this paperback for a buck. Even though it's an uncorrected proof and very clearly labeled "not for sale," apparently that comes with an expiration date, so I figured why not.

Creepers - Joanna Dahme. You might remember this as "that stunning YA book that is an actual work of art, with glossy pages, green-shaded illustrations between chapters and an embossed cover, that I vowed to own ASAP." I didn't even see this when I went yesterday, so score!  30% coupon in use knocked it down to a still slightly steep price of $5 and change, but these coupons are magical, special things that make prices cease to have meaning, sort of like when I purchased textbooks at the campus bookstore.  But cheaper and more fun.

Wild Animals I Have Known - Ernest Thompson Seton, 1966 Legacy Library edition.  Now, I already own this set of stories, but Mom's copy is getting battered, since it's one of those 50s Whitman publications, and this version looks a little mass-produced, but it's a lot more durable AND it has a lot more drawings (plates shaded red and green, rather than the more basic Whitman illustrations), plus little bonus drawings in the margins of most pages.  And Dad convinced me to buy it when I told him it was a dollar and I couldn't find anything else in the Collectibles section, clearance or otherwise.

+ Pending purchase: Pirates! - Celia Rees.  I loved this novel and its PotC parallels so much that I transcribed 3 8x11 pages' worth of my favorite scenes and printed them out to carry around after I returned the library book.  I'm using a 50% coupon on its $7.48 price tag come Sunday, and hoping the pristine copy I want is still there rather than the one with a knife slice in the dust jacket or the $1 cheaper Scholastic version with temptingly tough binding, but an unattractive scrawl of a teacher's name in black marker across the pages.

Other Treasures
-While I was browsing today, I saw a girl walking around with a Glee calendar and a Glee novel.  How!  How did that even SHOW UP in HPB when it's been out for like 2 months, but also how did she manage to be lucky enough to nab it?

-$700 item of lust behind glass: 1st American edition of Peter and Wendy.   Droooooool. 

-5 vintage Marguerite Henry books.  Unfortunately: 70s vintage paperbacks, oversized, but lacking the color illustrations I crave from hardcovers. Pass.

-Sara Gruen's Riding Lessons. Want! But I don't like it as much as Flying Changes, and with a badly creased spine it was not worth $6.48.

-$4.58, perfect hardcover of Celia Rees' Witch Child, also on my wishlist, but which probably won't be coming home with me because I've gone a bit nuts at this point and I'm sure I'll see that again.  I hope.  In the same perfect condition, SERIOUSLY, it is like HPB just bought a Barnes and Noble full of inventory and changed the price stickers.

-2 Francesca Lia Block books I haven't read (Blood Roses, Ruby).  After Wasteland, I'm wary of buying any of her books I haven't read.  But I haven't read these and they still tempt me.  Also a smattering of lesser-loved but still enjoyed YA books throughout the shelves. 

-Found a book I want to read - We Bought the Zoo; if you've seen my reading list lately you know I've discovered another cache of animal nonfiction and am devouring everything the library has - and hope that I don't kick myself for not buying it later. 

-Chosen By a Horse, $4.50 hardcover I was going to buy yesterday because I just read it and rather liked it, but now it's been usurped by other treasures.  Still. 

-My dad found a book my brother needs for one his classes, yay for money-saving!

-The Ultimate CSI Guide tempted me.  It tempted me a lot.  I am resisting only because it's huge and $7.50 and I can't decide if I want that more than Pirates!

-2 great fat horse care guides.  Even though I haven't opened mine in years, I cannot suppress the urge to pounce on any I see.

-Tori Amos' "Scarlet's Walk" was in the CD section!  Unfortunately, CDs are $5.  Really?  Yeah, that's not happening.  But oh, I covet that physical CD and its pretty booklet more than any other album in the world.

-There are hundreds and hundreds of DVDs in the store.  Hundreds.  9 columns of 6-foot tall shelves that take up a very large section of wall, and that doesn't even include the TV shows.  My favorite thing there?  Harper's Island.  If I did not have such a phobia of used DVDs, born from years of scratched library discs that I've never successfully rehabilitated 100%, I'd be spending my 50% coupon on that. 

-There is a horsey computer game in clearance for $2, and I might buy that too.  I have wanted one since I was 13 and still routinely check to see if any have become abandonware yet; they never have.  *wants to play*  It's almost as big a dream as my desire to play The Sims.

-The only thing this magical store doesn't have are Nick Bantock books.  Just Griffin and Sabine hanging out by its lonesome.

Also there were free cookies (albeit buttery shortbread kind, bleh) and candy, and I've been running around the store for a total of at least 3 hours now and still have not examined every shelf to the fullest.  I'm totally an overstimulated puppy.  This officially makes up for all the crap library sales. My faith in book-seeking magic has been restored!

P.S. Oh, God, still so behind on TV, but tonight my brother uprooted a virus and somehow got my computer up and running again. He still says I need a new one, because this one is so dying, but in the meantime he gave me his old DVD-ROM drive.  For the first time ever, I can watch non-VHS movies in my room!  Of course, I can't appreciate that just now, what with the stacks of other media, and the fact that am working two weekends in a row and won't have a day off from survey madness until October 8th.  That would be said in a so much more lighthearted tone if I got paid more than half of minimum wage for the amount of time I'm forced to devote.

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