Monday, May 12, 2008

veni, vidi, vici

I went to a used book sale at a library on Saturday. Now I've been to a few library book sales in my day, so I was pretty sure what to expect - mass confusion. Books are helpfully categorized into categories: fiction and non-fiction. And then they're sorted into cover design appeal - or something; I'm not sure what the second-order sorting variable is. I knew this going in, so I had a brilliant idea: I would print out a list of my Amazon wishlist books and take it with me. BRILLIANT! Then I got to the library (smartly keeping the 10-page list out of sight) and thought, "This is quite possibly the dumbest thing I've ever done." As if I'm really going to check this list against each title I look at. The books are in no discernible order. They are fiction or non-fiction (ok, there were a couple of other categories, but those only contained a handful of books). As I was contemplating my nerdy jackassery, I happened upon a book that actually appeared on my list! Forget the fact that I probably only remembered because it was my most recent add to my wishlist. I swear I remembered because of the ass-info osmosis going on between my list and my money-maker. I'm so smart.

The problem with so many cheap books being so readily available is that you'll buy stuff that you'll never, ever read. It took a while, but I ultimately resisted the urge to by $1 copy of "Compiler Design in C." Compiler design is to my job as barley harvesting is to a bartender. You could draw a connection, but it's tenuous at best. I just diddn't see myself reading 600 pages on compiler design anytime soon.

By far the highlight of the trip was overhearing some old lady try to haggle on a 50 cent paperback. "I would buy this if it was 25 cents, but not for 50 cents." She was clearly, though awkwardly, trying to hint that the price should be dropped. The library workers just kind of stared at her amidst a dense fog of confusion. So what? - their looks asked. Finally, old school left without the overpriced book, muttering about a time when two bits could get you a steak dinner, a movie and a private audience with Teddy Roosevelt

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Blogger Joe said...

I usually enjoy those sales for all of about 10 minutes before I get frustrated and try to convince myself that whatever random book in front of me is worth buying.

I'll be interested in your thoughts on Imperium. I thought it was just okay.

7:37 AM

Blogger roger said...

Will do. Although, I'm not sure where it is on the list of "books I own which I haven't read."

(Yah, sorry. I'm a little behind on responding to comments.)

5:56 AM


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