[eta: oh man, I totally forgot there was a church sale I went to on Friday before the Half Price Books Clearance Sale this weekend. I bought a pretty shirt and two pairs of earrings, will have to photograph later.]
We've spoken before about how GREAT this sale is, right? If you weren't here last year, the nutshell version is that there are hundreds of thousands of items culled from all the area Half Price stores, and nothing costs more than $3. Most things are $1-2. It's held at the State Fair grounds and there is more media in one giant warehouse of a room than you have ever seen in one place in your life, so it's basically a special level of heaven for book lovers.
The hours were 9 AM-6PM Saturday & Sunday. Despite running late both days, at least I WENT to both days.
The first day I hit the fairgrounds at roughly 10:15 AM. I popped by the last few hours of the garage sale first, and managed to get an appetizer course of 2 books (naturally!). Then I hit the main drag. I browsed for 3 hours, shifting my collection of books from arms first, then to my shoulder bag, and finally was able to get my hands on a wire shopping basket as the load grew progressively heavier (I like me my hardcovers).
Suffice to say, the book sale was totally worth it. I started off with little hope but in no time at all, I was pulling things left and right. Definitely an improvement on last year!
I was running on no sleep and no food because I had been so desperate just to GET here as soon as possible (stupid work!), and it started to feel so oppressively hot at times that I would get a bit dizzy. I had to take a few breaks to rest my protesting arm muscles -- seriously, it's like a gym workout -- and sort through my finds to pare them down. The line had gotten so long that I didn't want to waste browsing time by standing in it, so I just kept looking and waiting and looking...an hour and a half later, the line had only gotten longer, so I finally gave in. And yup, the line lasted 40 minutes. And the entire time, I was right behind somebody who had managed to find Scrubs, full season 6, for $3.
Sidebar: may I just say, it was RIDICULOUS how many copies of Glee season 1 (as broken into "volume 1" and "volume 2") were floating around.
(and In the book realm, Water for Elephants was probably the most common standalone novel I saw in regular fiction, that or My Sister's Keeper, while Twilight continued to take up valuable real estate all over YA. I did not see 50 Shades of Grey anywhere, although I did see 50 Shades Freed. Which reminds me, I also came across a pair of scandalous gay
I bought my first round, traipsed the long journey back to the car to dump my heavy hardcovers, and decided there was no way I was wasting time/getting lost looking for another place to buy food, so I paid $5.25 for a quarter pound hamburger with lettuce (apparently the two small pieces of iceberg lettuce cost extra) at the concession stand set up outside the book building. It was probably the worst burger I've ever had in my life, and took all the fun out of splurging on a hot meal of convenience, but I couldn't bring myself to pay two dollars more than that for a salmon sandwich, and I did not want the even-unhealthier fries, hot dog or a corn dog. At least it kept me from feeling like I was going to faint?
THAT BURGER COST MORE THAN ANY OF THE MEDIA ITEMS INSIDE, THOUGH.
So satiated, I charged back inside and found a few more items. I took particularly amusing note of where the employees had finally begun to open the tall stacks of unopened inventory off to the side, which have "caution" tape around them but aren't actually being defended in any way, so people are gradually drawn to them like buzzards, or stray dogs sniffing around spilled garbage cans. No, really, it's a hilarious sight. People peering over one another's shoulders, all trying to a creep a little sneak peek at the newest goodies. NEVER ENOUGH BOOKS.
My energy had started to flag, though, and after thoroughly inspecting all the boxes of picture books, children's-YA, and nonfiction, I could only traipse through about 40-50% of the DVDs and CDs and mostly gave up on adult fiction, which is a big wash anyway. I finally left at 5:15 PM (total time on feet, while frequently carrying heavy loads and/or dropping to a squat to examine boxes on the ground: 6-7 hours). I normally take pity on Dad and leave after 2-3 hours, but I apparently took not having time restrictions as a personal challenge and just went all-out. The fact that I still didn't have time to see EVERYTHING tells you how big this sale is, yeah?
By the time I got home, I had just enough energy to call Chris & figure out plans for the next day, attempt to deal with a bit more work that had refused to be conquered before I left (mostly futile), and collapse in bed at 8:30 PM.
SPROING! 6:30 AM and I am out of bed, because god damn it I still have like 297294789234 things to do before I can leave, including shower and wash the clothes I want to wear and print new maps/directions and deal with more of the goddamn work that won't end (and none of the work is my fault, none of it).
It should be noted that the muscles in the front of my thighs are now feeling the burn from doing a thousand squats yesterday, and every muscle in my arms is tired too.
Work, of course, decides to be so stupid and horrible that even though Chris is miraculously ready to go at 8:45, I end up not able to leave until 9:30. And also forgetting to eat breakfast.
BUT, everything went super-great once we were on the road. The sun peeked out a few times on the way over, and I got to show off paradise to Chris, who had never even heard of this (supermegafoxyawesomehot) sale. He must have found a good 20 items, an even mix of fiction, CDs and DVDs. He started off browsing the fiction slowly (newbies always start out reading every title. LOL!), so I had time to run down the YA aisles to scope out anything new. And then I went back to tagging along with him, which was nice because he mostly covered the ground I hadn't -- regular fiction, CDs and DVDs. Everything was half off its already clearance-marked prices today, too, which meant nothing today cost more than $1.50 an item, and I was buying things as low as a quarter.
I put back season 2 of House -- yes, even at the compelling price of $1.50! THAT WAS HARD -- after forcing myself to admit that I actually do not love House, I never loved House, and season 2 isn't even in the top half of seasons I liked.
I am more into book sales than he is, but even so, I'm pretty sure this is the best date I've ever been on. Plus he found at least one CD that he was really excited about, and that always makes the whole trip. He also let me convince him to buy season 3 of The Office for $3 (I wasn't actually trying that hard, just pointing out it was a great deal, but that works for me!), and tried to buy a random paperback of The Woman in White for me (apparently he REALLY likes it) before acknowledging that I could probably get it at the library, so now I feel inclined to read it so that two people will love me for doing so.
(urge to resist...rising...)
Took Chris home so he could get ready for work, then skipped myself off to Goodwill to see if there was anything nice on the 50% off tag sale today. No, but I did fish a really awesome book out of the discount bin, so that's a win! (BOOKS EVERYWHERE THIS WEEKEND) Finally got home at about 2:45 PM. After I finished gleefully sharing my books, relaxing/TV catchup was had by all.
But now I get to gleefully share the books AGAIN!
[boring and spoilery stack style, OR you could just keep reading and click here later]
FYI: Minus the skinny paperback, this was my stack the first day BEFORE checking out, ALSO WITH the big giant Laura Ingalls Wilder in the stack below.
CDs: (missing from stack: Michelle Branch, "Hotel Paper")
1. The Hearts of Horses - Molly Gloss, one of rare few grown-up novels I have enjoyed, in pristine paperback condition. Historical western featuring a young woman who makes her living breaking horses. 50 cents.
2. Peered into the non-fiction next, not expecting much since it's day 4 of this sale except WHOA HEY THAT'S A BONES BOOK!!
Bones: The Forensic Files. 50 cents.
A gloriously glossy-paged softcover guide to the show -- best of all, one that only covers up to the end of season 4, which is the last full season before it ceases to exist for me. THAT IS UNBELIEVABLY PERFECT. Plenty more detail than just the early years, but no detail I don't want.
Half Price sale:
3. Ask Elizabeth - Elizabeth Berkley. $1. Now, as a rule, I don't have any opinions on Elizabeth Berkley. But you know what I love? Scrapbook-style books, and this one is both oversized and packed to the gills with handwritten notes, different fonts, interesting border designs/imagery, and all sorts of pretty things to look at.
All stock pictures nabbed from the internet. Mostly Amazon.
4. Footfree & Fancyloose, $1, in hardcover. A book I just read this year and ADORE TO PIECES as one of the most perfect examples of YA novels that exist. Also it's a ridiculous number of pages, so the joy goes on a long time. [edit: NOPE. Wrong. I am an idiot; this was the very average sequel to the glorious perfect novel. Oh well...I guess it'll be nice to have the set?]
5. See What I See - 50 cents. Goodreads recommended it but the library didn't have it, so I grabbed it just to read. Will probably redonate, but this is in PERFECTLY pristine shape (hardcover). Its cover creaked when I opened it.
6. Breathing, $2. Pristine paperback, a YA romance that I loved to pieces.
7. Long May She Reign, 50 cents. It's a fairly well-read paperback, but I may still keep it. I've been thinking about reading it, so I guess this gives me a good excuse - it's the sequel to a book I read last year and I was curious about the aftermath. Well, actually, it's 4th in a series, but I started with book 3 because it was interesting and stood on its own.
8. Chosen Forever, $2. The sequel to Chosen By A Horse which the library failed to buy. I've been wanting to read it for years. Once I finish this, I can move on to Saddled, which the library DID buy. Paperback. So expensive for paperback...
9. Oink! My Life With Minipigs - $2. its not as cute as the cover I read (although it did make one girl squeal when she saw it, and it's still pretty cute), but OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. (sidebar: I've been dying to read the author's follow-up book for over a year, but apparently America decided it wasn't worth publishing so it's only available in the UK or on Kindle)
10. Love Is The Best Medicine, $2- another vet memoir. Hardcover. I own his first book but the library didn't have his second one -- I'm excited to read it!
11. How It's Done - 50 cents. Bought just to read because I can't get enough of age-mismatched teacher/high school senior relationships (although he's not a teacher at her school, so...) Will almost definitely re-donate.
12. Just Jack Russells, $2. This is a slim coffee table book filled to the brim with beautiful photos of extra-adorable Jack Russell Terriers.
13. Little House in the Ozarks: The Lost Writings - $3. Big fancy spending! Big oversized book, what looks like a neat collection of her unpublished writings in observing life, very magazine-column-like. I need to rekindle my Little House love, and in the meantime, I thought this might make a good gift book for Mom that we can both enjoy.
14. DVD: The O.C. season 2. $3 I mean I dont' love season 2, I skipped a big chunk of it because Olivia Wilde and the Trendy Lesbian Phase, but I think there are bits of it I liked. Such as one of the few times I multi-shipped an OTP -- I liked Summer & Zack. (um. was that his name?)
15. The very first thing I pounced on -- within about 5 minutes of looking at the kid's section -- was Tales of Beedle The Bard, which I have been trying to find for less than $5 for the past five freaking years, so SCORE. I came almost literally running back to Chris, all triumphant-puppy-like. I CAN FINALLY READ IT! 50 cents.
16. The Nature of Jade - 25 cents. My second favorite Caletti novel, and also one that I just love a lot. Girl with panic disorder, I'm there.
17. GLEE TIE-IN NOVEL #2: FOREIGN EXCHANGE. 25 cents. OH MAN I FOUND A GLEE BOOK I FOUND A GLEE BOOK AND IT'S MY FAVORITE ONE TOO! It also looks brand new.
18. CD: Kate Voegele, "Don't Look Away," $1. OH MY GOD I AM SO EXCITED I LOVE THIS CD and have been playing it nonstop in the car ever since.
19. CD: Joy Williams, "Genesis," 50 cents. It's the one that has my super-favorites "Say Goodbye" and "Child of Eden" on it. I'm hoping to fall in love with more tracks, since I usually love her music.
20. CD: Indigo Girls, "Retrospective," $1. The weird thing for me is that I love tons of Indigo Girls tracks individually, but I have a hard time falling in love with new ones when I try to listen to full CDs. It just doesn't happen for me. But this is a compilation set, and therefore has the greatest percentage of songs I like.
21. CD: Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, $1. AW YEAH, now I can play this for everyone to hear while I decorate the tree this year! (finally found a Glee soundtrack here, woohoo! P.S. GOD DAMN IT, I just remembered that I also saw volume 2, but I didn't buy it because I thought I'd already bought it. FALSE. I saw it at Savers but I was going to come back and use a coupon on a full purchase, and it was gone when I returned.)
22. CD: Michelle Williams, Hotel Paper," 50 cents. I just never got around to listening to it, but her first CD is one of my all-time favorites. I hope to love this one too.
23. DVD: The Mummy, Collector's Edition. $1.50. Because I have The Mummy Returns in the same format and I figured, I should probably have a matching set, yeah?
24. The coup de gras... DVD: The Haunting (1999 version), $1.50. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SEE THIS MOVE FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS. You know where it is? NOWHERE! You can't rent it, you can't get it from any library in my state, I could probably buy it online but who buys a disc you can't inspect, and you can't even watch it online, at least not that I've found every time I've looked. I joked to Chris that it would super unlikely but really great if I could find it... and then 10 minutes later, my eyes popped open ("Wait a minute, is that..."), I snatched it up and turned it around, and yelped. "Yes! That's the one I was looking for!!!" My mom and I saw this in the theater and it's one of our best movie memories. Perfect time of year to re-watch it, too.
25. BONUS: The adorable book I got at Goodwill, Beever & Company. This is a stock image, but mine is a beautiful hardcover ex-school-library book in excellent condition, and it only cost me 15 cents. It's a nonfiction book circa 1969 about a zoo curator raising various baby otters at home ostensibly to study their behavior, but really just creating adorable tales.
Total: Roughly $32 (counting tax) for 18 books, 2 movies and 5 CDs. A bit indulgent, I suppose - at some point I really must stop spending more than the previous year - but SO much fun.
OK! That's all. You can go click on the spoiler cut now, or if you already have, then...have a good night.