I look forward to it all year: the Centenary Book Bazaar is by far the best book sale in Shreveport. If you’ve only been to the library’s, you’re missing out! My general rule is $20 and one ginormous bag, but rules are made to be broken, right? I was still too sick to enjoy last year’s book sale, so I sat it out. This year, I gave myself permission to make up for the lost book deals, so I took TWO bags and my usual $20 bill, but I also took my checkbook. Always be prepared. Winter is coming. And so on.
People line up for hours to be first to get into this thing, and that’s dedication considering it’s usually 100 degrees outside at this time of the year. In fact, I followed an ambulance, lights and sirens blaring, into the parking lot. I assume someone had fainted. They offer bottles of water for $1, and I heard rumors of ice cream. It started at 4pm, and I showed up at 3:45 because while I love this book sale, I’m not willing to bake before it (and there’s the little matter of insulin in my pocket). I was dripping sweat by the time I got in, anyway.
The line didn’t seem as long this year as it had been in the past. Maybe it was exceptionally hot? What’s funny is that there are two line options: one out in the sun and one in the shade. And the sunny one is always longer! Ridiculous. I, of course, chose the shaded route. Two roads diverged in a wood, and so on.
As usual, it was packed. Rows and rows of tables lined with people wheeling around suitcases and other fun things to trip over. I just poked at people with my bag.
I was mildly disappointed this time: they have multiple tables of paperback fiction, and one is something like “Paperback Treasures” and is usually covered in nice trade paperbacks of books I like to read. Somehow, that table was covered with mass markets this year.
I spent about half an hour nosing around and filling up one big bag plus a couple. I only go for the tables of decent contemporary fiction, “literature,” and school book lists because if it’s true, I’ll never get around to reading it. And this year, I found some gems! And a much larger pile of books that have been on my radar for a while.
What did I get, you ask? Here’s the list! (I usually link books and authors to Goodreads, but I’m far too lazy to do that with all of these, so I’m only linking within this blog. Just so you know.)
- A Russian Journal by Steinbeck. I’d never heard of this one, but I love its author.
- Adam Bede by George Eliot. It’s been on my radar for a while, and I really liked Silas Marner.
- Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol. I’ve been meaning to read it.
- Officers and Gentlemen by Evelyn Waugh. Waugh is highlarious.
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I tried reading a few years ago and failed, but I think I’ll try again soon.
- Labrynths by Jorge Luis Borges. I love Borges. I’ve read Labyrinths, but it was a borrowed copy, and I wanted to own it.
- Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata. Goodreads keeps telling me I’ll like it.
- Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev. I haven’t read Turgenev, but I’ve been meaning to.
- Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai Gogol. It was the Book Sale of Russians. There was a pile.
- A two-volume set of The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. I love Crime and Punishment, and I bet I’ll love this one, too.
- The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor. I think she’s my favorite short story writer. This was a FIND.
- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Another one I’ve been meaning to read.
- Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. Another Russian and another reading list fulfillment.
- Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Everyone tells me it’s good! And Cormac McCarthy has won me over to westerns.
- A two-volume set of Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve never read it because I hate mysteries, but I know I should.
- The Children of Men by P.D. James. Another attempt and failure. I’m not sure why. It’s different than the movie, and I think I liked it as far as I got into it. That was several years ago.
- 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. I read it last year and reviewed it on this blog. I own it on Kindle, and I bought a nice hardback version for all of $3.
- The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. If you ever read this blog, you know how much I love Hemingway. I haven’t read many of his short stories. This is also another one I own on Kindle but wanted the actual book.
And I could have sworn there was one more! I’m going by the recent history list in my cataloging software, Delicious Library. Maybe I miscounted yesterday. All told, I spent $23.50. I think I got a pretty awesome deal. The winners, of course, are the Flannery O’Connor and Hemingway collections. A nice page with a list of all of my fiction and a few other things is here. I even updated it today!
As I said: best book sale. If I ever say I’m bored, point me toward my bookshelves. Speaking of which, all of these books created quite a pile, and I had to do some pretty serious rearranging of my already limited space. I need more shelves!
Finally, a round of applause for my Very Helpful Helper, Shakespeare, who walked back and forth over my keyboard countless times just while I was writing this blog post.