It just isn’t the same without you.

Posted on 28 July 2011

My cats aren’t going to recognize me anymore. I’ve been incredibly busy lately — working full days and then immediately heading out and not returning home until it’s time to sleep and then wake up and start all over again. As a result, my blogging frequency has dropped a bit, but I figure it’s summer and everyone is occupied with books and cocktails on the beach anyway, right?

Today, my big escape on my lunch hour — besides buying transit passes because my life is so glamorous — was a stop at Cleveland Public Library’s book sale. It’s the last-day, last-ditch bargain deal, which means one huge, heavy bag of books for $5. That’s great, except now I’m bringing 60 pounds of hardcover library books into my home, and I’m already wondering 1) when I’m going to have time to read them and 2) what in the world I’ll do with them when I’m done. I think this calls for some future blog book giveaways. Sound good? No promises on when the first giveaway will be, considering that my summer to-read stack is already about two dozen books high, but it will happen eventually.

I adore library sales. (Never mind that the big WITHDRAWN stamps across the title pages make me sad and sort of anxious.) When I was a kid, my mom and I loaded up black trash bags with paperbacks at the Lancaster Public Library book sale. That sale was like a holiday for us. I got Jonathan Livingston Seagull there when I was 9 years old and thought it was so deep. Shameful.

Today, in addition to the mishmash of novels I’d never heard of but am now going to try, I saw some heavy hitters at the sale: Freedom and Eat, Pray, Love and, of course, the enduring classic Hacking MySpace. Which is about as useful as the decade-old Occupational Outlook Handbook that I found on the same table.

When I left the library, a homeless man watched as I walked by. He said to me, in this sincere and slightly melancholy voice: “There you are, Girlie Face. It just isn’t the same without you.” Hey, I bet my cats would say the same thing. So until next week — happy reading.

What’s your best library sale find? How many Kindle books can you fit into a trash bag? Is it the same without you, Girlie Face?


8 responses to It just isn’t the same without you.

  • Lyra says:

    Laura,
    You have to make that into a short story. “There you are, Girlie Face. It just isn’t the same without you.”
    Please?

    I haven’t been to a library sale in forever but I got an old book that no one wanted when my grandmother passed away. My mom saved it for me. It was my great-grandmother’s it turns out and in pencil on the inside cover are grammatical tips for lie and lay, and other words. Oddly, the words listed are all words that still give me trouble. I take solace in the fact that it must be genetic.

    • I love old books marked up by relatives. I have this old paperback dictionary and tucked inside is a piece of paper my mother used to write down tips for writing fiction. I think she mentioned conflict, desire, motivation, etc. Even though that dictionary is not the best, it’s the one I keep at hand on my desk at home.

      And yes, perhaps Girlie Face will have to live again in fiction. We’ll see.

  • lisahgolden says:

    Oh, man. I have stacks and stacks of library book sale books. I’ve plucked some real plums. I love Elizabeth Berg and I’ve purchased a lot of her books this way. Ugh. That sounds terrible! I’m a fan, but I won’t buy your book until it’s on deep discount. I’m totally earning bad karma if I am ever lucky enough to have a book published.

    But yes. I get that need to drag home a bag of books. Kitties are pretty forgiving, yes?

  • Averil Dean says:

    Why yes, I will take some of those babies off your hands.

    I met a homeless man recently who decided to call me Louise for no apparent reason. I was really nice to him, in her place, because I figured if they met again she’d want to have been well-represented.

  • Downith says:

    Oh Laura, I know what you mean about the big WITHDRAWN stamp.

    My little library here usually has a shelf going with books for sale – I never seem to find much of any interest, but I remember when I was a kid my mom would often find us some gems in the library sale.

  • Teri says:

    Forgive me for going off the ranch here. No matter the gems and good deals, there’s something about a library sale that makes me so so sad. I think, as a kid, I still could not buy those books. And as an adult, I always feel like the community created by the readers of those books —- so many hands on one book!! — is brought to a halt, like they’re being put out to pasture. Isn’t that awful? Geez, what a downer!

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