A few weeks ago, I joined my town’s newly reinstated Friends of the (Name of Town) Library club.
By “joined” I mean, attended a meeting to see what it was all about and, due to frightfully low turnout, was immediately drafted to help with all nature of activities. However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. These ladies (yes, no men yet – any takers?) are highly organized, very committed and pretty darn good company.
This weekend kicks off used book sale season, where we make an appearance at the local church flea market to be followed by a bunch of other, similar engagements.
So, I figure I would give you a behind-the-scenes look at a Friends of the Library book sale prep session…
5:27 p.m. – I arrive first on the scene for the night shift. Very loyal team member and daughter have been there all day doing first round of sorting, finding books that are guaranteed to sell the fastest. (In case you’re curious: titles by James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Johanna Lindsay; cookbooks; and anything about the Kennedy family.)
6:01 p.m. – Two teen library workers come in to help with sorting. Gawky girl teen (who I guarantee within 3 years will bloom into a total bombshell) jokingly orders boy teen around. Totally obvious that girl teen has devastating crush on boy teen. Boy teen is completely oblivious. Considering channeling my inner Yente and making a match.
6:07 p.m. – My two loyal library compadres arrive. I eagerly volunteer to do romance and biographies as they’re the easiest to sort. Biographies: Picture of (usually) famous person (often dead) on spine. Romance: Picture of a flower, Fabio or some heaving bosoms on spine.
6:35 p.m. – The first serious round of sneezing occurs. Books = hella dusty.
6:47 p.m. – The teenagers emerge from the stacks. He’s still ignoring her. Damn, boy! Look past the glasses. That girl is going to be Claudia farookin’ Schiffer. Trust me.
7:15 p.m. – Crap! Why didn’t I think to bring snacks!
8:03 p.m. – Sorted through several thousand books and put them neatly into box tops. Get the special privilege of using those neat stickers only the librarians get to use. Smile smugly to self as I slap on “Sci-Fantasy” label thinking, “Oh yeah. Check me out. I’m the boss. How do you know? I’ve got the stickers to prove it, baby!”
8:17 p.m. – Begin to gossip about potential purchases, so we don’t have a book snatchin' catfight on our hands. Thankfully no overlap. (Heh. I wasn’t worried. For a twenty five cent Alison Weir book, I could totally throw down. Oh yeah, library ladies, you want some uh this?!?)
8:23 p.m. – While compadres are labeling the fiction hard covers, I haul approximately fifty crates of books from one end of the room to the other, as some persnickety art group is using the room the next day, and needs it in perfect order.
8:24 p.m. – Starting to dislike those "art people."
8:37 p.m. – As back begins to ache, now really, really hating the evil "art people." (Smile to self as I think of Bou’s bus post. Muh-ha-ha-ha-ha!)
8:40 p.m. – Library compadre snickers, whilst pointing out dog-eared copy of A Husband in Her Stocking. (Hee!)
8:42 p.m. – Find a book on quotations for curmudgeons. Irrationally think book donor is evil because I have no bleeping’ category for quote books. Try to slip it in the “Free” bin and hope no one notices.
9:05 p.m. – We lug the last of the boxes to the corner of the room and cover them neatly with Christmas-themed tablecloths.
9:07 p.m. – Head home, tired and sweaty and immediately throw back some Advil. Figuring out what time I have to get up on Saturday a.m. to make it to the library at 7 a.m. sharp (Boing!), carrying donuts and a Box O’ Joe.