disclaimer: today I'm writing for me, which means I reference titles like they're popular movies everyone should know. I'll do ya the courtesy of bolding the titles I bought, though.
disclaimer 2: at some point while writing this my internet stopped working last night, so I might have made edits that are no longer there, if anything is oddly worded or a sentence is half finished
First of all, the prices at this sale are so small you almost can't see them. Everything costs $1 unless it's less, as in all paperbacks and YA novels are 50 cents each and children's books are 50 cents hardcover/25 cents paperback. It's the perfect pricing system, just enough to have you contribute something without actually feeling like it's dented your wallet at all.
[that said, they overcharged me, so I wanna whine a tiny bit]That said, even though I spent five minutes pre-adding my purchases to make sure I had enough cash, and even made a point of telling the ladies "all of these hardcovers here are YA except for this one" (and that was me being NICE, as it's technically also YA, but it wasn't ex-library so I know it looked like an adult novel), they somehow overcharged me a quarter. I could not for the life of me figure out how they got that quarter since I only had one paperback and it was a very thick YA novel, and it threw me off so I suddenly wasn't sure if I was being over- or under-charged, so I just paid. They might even have charged me $1.25 extra; one book was marked $2 from when it was in the library bookstore, which I felt was fair because it was an oversized book, but the signs said all hardcovers were $1 and didn't say "unless otherwise marked." I QUIBBLE ABOUT THESE THINGS.)
Actual Sale Experience Starts Here
I ordered myself to stick to The Rule of Popping: until you own more than 4 rooms, you have to make a gasping noise of delight when you see a cover, or it's not good enough to own. And that was pretty tough to stick to whilst passing a slew of 4-star reads from the past 5 years, like Going for the Record, which made me cry 80 million tears, and Polly Shulman's Enthusiasm and Siobhan Vivians' Same Difference. I even agonized long and hard over Suzanne Supplee's Artichoke's Heart, which is SUCH A SOLID READ, but also so very much one I could not interest myself in reading again.
(but did passing the 4-stars stop me from feeling compelled to buy Joyce Carol Oates' Sexy? NOPE. That is a 3-star bitch with added vulgarity, but IDK, something about the writing style just fascinates me, and I had a really good reading experience in the park last March, and I just wanted it to come home with me. Embarrassing cover and all. I gave myself a whole hour to think about it and could not change my mind, so I got it.)
But then, while I was wandering about holding onto Fingerprints of You, which I recently put on my wishlist just because I like Lemon and that was a good summer reading experience, I spotted the titles Windyfoot [at the County Fair] and Bristleface sticking up from behind some paperbacks in the children's section that were obscuring the rest of the covers, and without even looking at them I zoomed over and snatched them both up to be rewarded by a pair of vintage ex-library children's books about a pony and a dog, respectively. THAT'S the magic feeling. Like, I forgot to even open the covers until I got home because I was so sure they were treasure (they are).
A later pass on the children's section rewarded me two more vintage juvenile novels: Beverly Butler's Light A Single Candle -- I feel like I've heard that before; is it famous/awarded? I also felt like I knew the author's name, which turns out I do in fact recognize from Ghost Cat -- and another Helen Griffiths book, The Wild Horse of Santander, illustrated by the same artist and perfectly matched covers with a book of hers I bought a few months back, Leon. I'm building quite a collection of her work.
The first book is a nice 60s ex-library hardcover, and the second is that rare and perfect unicorn of a library-binding book, with a dust jacket, that was never in a library. The former owner's name is on the inside but otherwise the jacket is near perfect and the book basically creaks. Never read. Pristine pages. Circa 1970, again.
I also picked up Supergirl Mixtapes, just because I passed on buying it last time and it nagged at me, and a paperback copy of Forever in Blue (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants #4) because honestly, that series is not special enough to me to take up valuable hardcover real estate so I'm replacing it.
Sadly, I did not stumble across Castrovilla's Girl Next Door. The odds of me NOT tripping over any given YA novel I've read and enjoyed out of this library system at one of its sales are actually smaller than finding it, so this is really starting to grind my gears. But when I do find it, it's going to be the most magical thing.
Next: I shrieked for delight when I found one of the rare CDs on my wishlist: the original Now That's What I Call Country. DON'T LAUGH. I genuinely love this collection of basically every country song I enjoy in the world, as impressed upon me by the 2 summers I spent on custodial where all my coworkers wanted to listen to country stations on the radio. Well, half of them at least. It is just such FUN music. I listened to it on the drive home and sang along at the top of my lungs.
Seriously, the chances of me finding the one CD I was hoping to find are pretty low. This is almost more exciting than the old horse & dog books.
Last but far from least is a magnificent coffee table book, The Metcalfe Family Album, this fictional compilation of six generations of a family's history through diary entries, old photos, recipes and other ephemera. I've neve heard of it but it's basically my dream project. It's like discovering a box of family documents in the attic, only they're conveniently organized for you in chronological order in such a way as to form a complete and coherent history.
Honestly, the first thing I noticed about it was that it's published by Chronicle Books, a.k.a. the people who brought us Griffin and Sabine, in case you needed more evidence for its artistic merit.