Saturday, February 11, 2012

VNSA Book Sale

The VNSA (Volunteer Non-profit Service Association) annual book sale was today.  If I've ever been, it was 20 years ago, so I asked Sarah if she wanted to go. Not that I need more books to read.  I already have 3 shelves of unread books.  Plus several Kindle editions. 

Still, the annual sale is considered an event.  And a book sale is irresistible to a bibliophile.

We met at a nearby McDonald's for breakfast at 7.  We chatted until 8, then headed over to the State Fair Grounds for the sale, which started at 8.  I expected there would be a long line, but I was awestruck by the sheer number of people there already. 

My concept of size is sadly lacking in accuracy.  But by trying to imagine my house compared to the building,  I would guess it was at least 200 feet long.  And the line to get in was 4 lengths of the building.  It appeared that they were restricting entrance based on occupancy requirements.

So Sarah and I stood in the winding, slowly moving line, chatting and people watching from 8 until 10:30, thoroughly enjoying the warm sunny day.  The crowd was well mannered and quiet.  However, the ladies in front of me insisted on smoking.  Until the woman in front of them asked them to stop.  

By the time we were permitted entry, we realized that we had made a newbie error.  Most of the crowd had bags with them, or carts.  There were a few shopping carts available, but they were on a waiting list. 

So we wandered the vast expanse of hard covers and paperbacks until our arms were full and we could carry no more.  I was impressed by the effort that went into organization of the books, separating them by genre and author, keeping the table tops filled from the open boxes stacked below them.

The checkout was quick and efficient.  I was thrilled to see there were paper sacks for our purchases.  I walked out with hard covers by Michael Crichton, Piers Anthony, and Ron White. Plus a paperback by Alan Dean Foster, 3 by J.A. Jance, and a set of 8 Cleo Coyle Coffee House mysteries.  All for $28.

Sarah and I enjoyed the day so much we already plan to attend next year.  But we'll be better prepared.  .

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