Opinion

The Book Sale: There are never enough books

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

It looks right. It smells right. What more can I ask of a library in addition to all it already gives me?

A big book sale! No matter where I am, I seek the nearest library, hoping I have stumbled upon the regular sale or the perpetual sale. Over the years I have acquired a number of books, most of which I have rarely paid full price unless the books were a gift for someone.

When browsing the library book sale, I am not necessarily looking for a book to read, but I am looking for a memory, a favorite author, favorite genres or types of books, art books, or beloved children’s books. If buying a book to read, it is usually one I haven’t read by a favorite author. More than likely, once read, it will come back to the library to be sold again, or sit on my night stand waiting to be read again.

I do collect certain types of books. I like old church songbooks and the stories of how the hymns came to be. I understand enough about music to see if keys, arrangements, and time signatures change from songbook to songbook. Additionally, shape note hymnals evoke an image of wooden country churches, while serving as a device to teach the non-musically educated.

Artbooks are like comfort food bringing a sense of calm, sitting in a chair that fits me, relaxing, and renewing the senses appreciating good art. There are books of sketches, photography and some modern art. Then there are books that display art that bring memories of my grandmother who loved Currier and Ives. I believe, for her, she saw the stories she was told as a child in these images.

Although an adult, I am never too old to buy a children’s book. I would like to take the high road and tell you I am buying for my niece and nephew. But no, they receive the new, full price books for Christmas and birthday presents. I buy the older, used children’s books because of vintage and illustrations. Sometimes I even get lucky and score a pop up book in near perfect condition.

Then there are the books of my early reading adventures from the ’60s and ‘70s, bringing back adolescent memories. Or, I may see authors like Phyllis Whitney, Daphne DuMaurier, Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt. I may even run across the occasional Regency romance, allowing me to gaze into another time period.

Please do not believe that I have a well-laid plan at the library book sale. I am more like a dog who sees a squirrel and runs after the book on the next table. All common sense leaves me and I fly like the wind.

Back to my book acquisition; prior to marriage, my father often helped me move.

Once, as we were packing up his truck, Daddy inevitably says, “Sue Ellan, what do you have in these boxes?” I replied with “Books, Daddy.” He then says, “You’re a librarian. You have all the books you need.” “No, Daddy,” I reply, “there are never enough books.” This is a statement that I stand by to this day.

A library book sale is an event in which you can find so many good sources of entertainment, for a minimal price. So, why not take full advantage of the occasion? After all the joy library book sales have brought me, I invite everyone to come to the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library’s biannual book sale on Nov. 1-3, in the library theater. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 1-5 p.m. While feeding your memories, enjoying art, or finding a good book to read, support your library’s programs, allowing fun and educational opportunities to coexist.

If you miss this sale, don’t worry. We have a perpetual sale on the main library floor. Plus, we have our own online sales at biblio.com. Here you will find the rare and collectible treasures.

Please remember, the book sale is made possible by our donors. Your gifts are important.

See you on the first weekend in November.

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Sue Crites Szostak has been the director of the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library since 2013. She got her first library card at the Poplar Bluff library and did her internship there as well. She has worked in libraries for 43 years. Contact her at: szostak@poplarbluff.org

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