Thursday, March 19, 2015

Half Price Books

What really gives me a adrenaline rush, and gets my blood pumping, is a book shopping spree. A book sale, a garage sale, a library book sale, a used book store, a new book store, it doesn't matter, they all give me my junkie fix. For a short period of time, that is. My most frequented haunting is my local Half Price Books. A used book store, where you can find anything from signed first editions, to new books, to old collectible books. I don't go there nearly as often as I would like to, because of the driving distance, but I do try to make a trip there at least once a month. I usually am able to find at least one exciting book that makes the trip worthwhile.

On the drive over I plan out the floor plan. First I'll hit up the section containing older collectible editions of books. This section sometimes consists of valuable editions, which are either signed, and/or a first edition. Easton Press also sometimes lurks in this section. There are some more affordable selections filling the shelves too however. A true book collectors dream. Then after scanning these shelves (and possibly scoring, with one or more finds), I will head over to fiction. I don't typically buy paperbacks, preferring hardcovers, so my strategy is to just scan the shelves for older hardcovers, or leather bound hardcovers. I of course pay attention to the titles, and don't just buy at random. They also must be in good shape. And pass the sniff test, they must (don't tell me that you don't smell your books). Sometimes I find a better version of a book that I already own, and then I have to make the decision of whether or not I want to replace my current edition with it. There is a whole system to this, you see. Then I will quickly pop down science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and scan the shelves for above mentioned books. They tuck the classics in these sections as well. Then my final stop is the children's classic section. Yes, I also both own, and read, children's classics. And I have found some really beautiful ones too.

The floor plan is routed out, I arrive at the doors, collect my cart (always select the cart vs the basket, you never know what you are about to find. Go big, or go home), and then the red light turns green, and I'm off! You see, for some reason I always feel like I am in a race when book shopping. My heart rate increases, my suspicion levels skyrockets, and suddenly everyone else in the store is a danger to me. Even the employees aren't to be trusted. They might get to the precious before I do. They might already have the precious! Suddenly I am looking into everyone's shopping carts and baskets to make sure that they didn't take anything that I might want. And if I do see something that I want, I feel inclined to follow that person around the store to see if they decide against it, and put it back on the shelves. What I usually end up doing is desperately grab books left and right, as if my life depended on it, and later when I have completed my floor plan I can calmly sort through them and make my final selections.

... The first step is admitting that you have a problem, but I don't have a problem.

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