This week the Sacramento SPCA is holding its annual used-book sale. The sale runs for nine days (starting last Saturday) and this year it’s being held in a vacant store on the corner of Sunrise and Greenback (in Citrus Heights, for those who know the area and want to support the SPCA).
Some of you won’t think that much to crow about, but the bibliophiles among us understand. Nine days of constantly-replenished stock, with everything from fine and rare books to bestsellers, biographies, travel/adventure and everything in between.
As usual, I’ve visited half a dozen times and brought home three shopping bags’ worth of goodies – several I’d been eyeing at the bookstore and others which I wouldn’t have picked at full price (pathetic, I know, but I’m more willing to try something “iffy” when I can get it for a buck or two).
An interesting thing about this used book sale is the diversity of people it draws. I’ve seen everyone from teens to retirees browsing the tables, usually with stacks of books in hand. It’s also interesting to listen to people talk. A love of books lets people talk to strangers as though they were friends. I’ve seen men and women recommend titles, authors, and even help one another find duplicate copies of works they both wanted to read. I’ve done it myself, more than once this week alone.
New books – whether or not they’re “really” new – forge connections between us in a way few other things do. They give us something to talk about with each other even if we live very different lives. They help us relate to one another, as well as to the people we read about.
This is why we write. We hope to build bridges that others will want to cross, to meet our characters and also to meet one another. The best books do it without trying. They don’t bludgeon us with a message or try to force us to feel a certain way. They inspire us, capturing us in their pages until we mourn their final page – and rejoice at the opportunity to share them with someone else. Even a stranger at a used book sale.
The book doesn’t have to be new to be new and exciting to you – or to someone else. Share a book with someone this weekend. Make it new – to a friend, a relative, or a stranger at the book sale. If you can’t find a book to share, then find a new one for yourself. Go to the library, pull out your Kindle, find a book store or a sale. New books, new worlds, new adventures await.
This was also a red-letter weekend because I received my (signed!!) copy of Be Different by John Elder Robison (which I won from The Debutante Ball – with a big thank you to the debs and John Elder Robison). I’ve already started reading it and am loving it – look for a review ASAP. (If I can finish it by Thursday, I’ll use it for “R” for sure.)
Did you get any new books this week? Or share a book with someone else? Head into the comments and speak up!