Bookstores and Book Sales

//before I begin: I just tried roasted chickpeas for the first time and I highly recommend.//

Today my school had a used book sale. 50 cents apiece, except travel or cooking, which were a dollar. I drifted through boxes of donations, recognizing some titles that had once graced our shelves before moving on. My final purchases were 1960 reproductions of the original editions of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz, and a book of essays by Robert James Waller (Old Songs in a New Cafe, generally about life and highly recommended so far). I love grazing the shelves and piles at used book stores, sales, and fairs. It is in a different way that I peruse shops for new books with pristine paper covers, perfect rectangular prisms, unfolded by time and use. I rather think that both have their time and place.

New books are for foreign cities and when you know what you want. They're for afternoons fading to evening and full wallets. Old books are for mornings and nostalgia. Their faded covers and notes in the margins are serendipitous to a certain set of souls.

New books are often sold by bookish twenty-year-olds who can personally recommend their favorite stock. No teen ever seems lucky enough to be hired by a bookstore. Old books reach your hands by older people, people who have held some of these books before, smelled them one last time, and moved on.

New books are for recent allowances and exultant vacation spending. Old books are for kids who count out their change and pay in pennies, for college students dragged along by enthusiastic friends. New books are shiny, pink and gold. Old books are soft and handled with care.

I love books. New books, old books. People telling their stories in beautiful dots of ink. Don't you?


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