Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Sale Restraint

My tbr pile is embarrassing... really. There are enough books on the shelves to keep me reading for years to come, yet there is something so alluring about a library book sale. Armed with our canvas shopping bags, my mother and I browsed the sale in her town yesterday.

Mom came away with about 20 books, but my pile was considerably smaller. It was the second day of the sale and virtually all the trade paperbacks were gone. So while I could claim to have exercised remarkable restraint, the truth lies somewhere closer to mild disappointment. Wish I'd picked up that battered copy of The Handmaid's Tale after all...

My stack:

The Ambassadors by Henry James
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

The Ambassadors is a Norton Critical Edition that looks like it's never been opened. It wasn't what I had in mind for my next Henry James novel, but it was only a quarter.
Is anyone funnier than David Sedaris? I usually listen to his books, but will read Holidays on Ice as the season approaches.
The Magnificent Ambersons, winner of the 1919 Pulitzer Prize, has been on my wish list for some time.

Not bad for seventy five cents.


  1. At least you can say it was 75 cents well spent.

  2. I call that 'letting the side down'. Only 3 books, when your Mother managed 20!

    Your restraint is admirable and enviable. Like you, I have enough reading material to last me at least three lifetimes, but I just can't resist a book sale or charity shop.

    As I volunteer in a charity shop, it is even more difficult. I have taken to sneaking books into the house, when hubbie isn't around, although he as got wise to me now and usually manages to find any new material, when I am not there.

    I haven't read any of your new titles, so look forward to some great reviews.

  3. I think it's a pity there wasn't more choice. You might have found some other, nicer ones as well if you'd gone the first day.

    But not to worry: at least in my experience, often the books that I don't expect too much of and that linger on my TBR for ages turn out to be really good. You'll see!

  4. The Book Gods were protecting you from yourself! Ha! Well, I can relate to the feeling of having three years worth of books on my shelves but still wanting to buy more. Isn't it endearing of us? While I do enjoy listening to Sedaris, I imagine once you have his voice in your head, it would translate to the page.

  5. Books are my downfall too. If you can say that books are a downfall, because in actuality they open the world too you, but a library does need to be built onto my house.

    Our Library has run a little dry on books they always have ones to buy. I had brought over a period of months some wonderful old craft books which I treasure and some classics.

    I commiserate with you on the regret of restraint, I too have restrained myself and regretted it.

    Lil Bit Brit

  6. I am impressed with your restraint! Holidays on Ice is a fun book!

  7. Lynne - It was the most fun I've gotten out of 75 cents in a long, long time!

    Fiction-books - LOL! That is, by far, the fewest books I've ever brought home from a book sale. The 'season' is just about over here, so I've got until spring to read these.

    Leeswammes - We usually try to get to these sales on the first day, but you never know what treasures are waiting. I'm sure I will enjoy all three of these!

    Sandy - That's what I was thinking... my shelves are groaning and I don't know where I'd have put another 20 books anyway! I'm sure I'll be 'hearing' Sedaris as I read Holidays on Ice.

    Christy - It's hard to consider books a downfall but, still I keep acquiring them and have a hard time parting with old ones. Think it's time to do some fall cleaning...

    Stephanie - I've enjoyed everything I've read by Sedaris! Looking forward to Holidays on Ice.

  8. Even though the choices weren't great because it had been picked over, I'm still in awe of your ability to only bring 3 home!!

  9. Now that is restraint! Try not to think about new additions as weight on the tbr pile but having the book in place when you need it. :) At least, that is the story I am sticking to for now. Happy reading (especially the James)!

  10. What restraint! I'm impressed!

    I'm listening to one of David Sedaris's books right now. I've only read them in the past, but I decided to give the audiobook of When You Are Engulfed in Flames a shot. It's fantastic!

  11. Now you did show restraint JoAnn, and 75 cents for all 3 is too funny! ENJOY

  12. I went to ours Friday and got ONE. Granted, we are moving in a month, but one??

  13. Staci - I'm also picky about the condition of books I read. But still... should've brought home The Handmaid's Tale.

    Frances - The right book in place when I need it... love your angle on this!! Looking forward to some Henry James very soon.

    Erin - Isn't Sedaris fabulous on audio?! I love that he narrates his own books. Don't think anyone else could do them justice. Even though I'll read this one, I'll still be hearing his voice in my mind.

    Diane - That's the best 75 cents I've spent in a long, long time!

    Lisa - One... really??? Even if you are moving, it must have been very picked over.

  14. 75 cents!!! I didn't think you could buy anything, let alone three things, for that anymore!

    You will enjoy The Magnificent Ambersons. I was surprised by how much I liked it, actually!

  15. I quite enjoyed The Magnificent Ambersons, how nice to have found it for such a price!

  16. I got five books from a book sale back in July and haven't been able to get to a single one yet. Luckily, that's pretty much my entire TBR list for the moment.

  17. Well your mum certainly cleaned up...good for her!

    Choice would have been a good thing but it wasn't meant to be this time around. Chin up, JoAnn, I've seen your're going to get over this little book blip. Besides, Christmas is on its way with all sorts of lovely new books to lust after!

    The Sedaris was a hit with R last year by the way!

  18. Very nice restraint! I've had to avoid my library sale the past two years because I just can't resist. Henry James, huh? Snore. Will be curious to hear what you think about Holidays on Ice, though! I read it two holidays ago.

  19. What a great price for some great books! I've never read The Ambassadors but have it on my tbr list. I like Henry James' writing & I'm intrigued by this book because it's considered a comedy. The Magnificent Ambersons is also on my tbr list. I almost bought a copy this weeken, but it wasn't in great condition.

    Have you read/listend to many of David Sedaris' books? I haven't but I want to! Do you have a favorite?

    The prices at the library sale were amazing! I imagine if you had gone the first day, you might have come away with a substantial pile! My tbr pile is quite high and yet I continue to add to it!

    It's nice that your mom enjoys reading too. Do you have similar tastes in books?

    ~ Amy

  20. Rachel - I couldn't tell you the last time I've had such fun with 75 cents!

    Thomas - Can't wait to read The Magnificent Ambersons. I wouldn't normally choose a mass market paperback but, for a quarter, I couldn't resist.

    EL Fay - I'm slightly envious of a 5 book tbr pile ;-)

    Darlene - But first I should really finish the books I got LAST Christmas... Glad to hear R liked the Sedaris.

    Trish - Not a Henry James fan, huh? I really liked Daisy Miller and The Portrait of a Lady.

    Amy - I've listened to a couple of Sedaris' books and have heard him live... such a funny guy! Not sure if his books would be as funny if you haven't listened to him - the delivery is key!

  21. Not bad indeed. I love David Sedaris--enjoy your haul.

  22. I think you showed amazing self control. I don't even wait for a sale. We all can relate to that TBR pile. There are a lot worse addictions.

  23. There's a book sale on at one of my library's branches next Sunday. I'm taking lots of bags just in case! I do love a book bargain, even though I have enough unread books to last me the rest of my life.

  24. JoAnn,

    I clicked on the image in your current post to get here because I'm just too curious what you got from a book sale. Have you read The Ambassadors by now? Because l've got it too on my TBR but a diff. edition (Modern Library). If you haven't read it how about reading it together... see if others would join. Just a thought. ;)

    1. Arti - The Ambassadors is, unfortunately, still unread on my shelf. I have renewed desire to pick it up since Cynthia Ozick's Foreign Bodies was published and would love to read it with you (maybe both of them?). However, I can't commit to another group read until Clarissa is finished. Would you consider waiting until after the holidays?

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