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summertime rules

I've been busy, but not in the way I'd anticipated when summer began. I had these grandiose ideas about limited TV watching, beginning piano playing, and print practicing. Things haven't shaped up quite that way but things are none too shabby, either. My summer plans were waylaid by an unexpected and generous donation from someone I don't even know, orchestrated by my oldest friend in the world.

The story starts way back in the spring, when I decided to list my books on after I finished reading them. I don't finish more than a book or two a month. I had one book listed and after a few weeks it sold! Talk about positive reinforcement. So I listed another, and soon enough it sold, too. Then I listed all my books, reasoning that I could get any book I really want to read at the library, and I need the shelf space for my growing collection of craft supplies.

I've been selling my books in dribs and drabs and pocketing the change (and believe me, it ain't more than 75 cents per book). But there's something fun about it, about sending my books into the world to other owners who could buy them more easily at their local Borders or Barnes & Noble. And ya'll know where all my books came from anyway, right? You got it, my local thrift stores. So they've already been enjoyed by at least one reader. Now they'll be enjoyed by more.

Back to my summer interuptus. My oldest friend in the world teaches at our local community college. She noticed a pile of books growing behind the circulation desk in the college's library and when she asked the librarian about them, she was told they were being discarded to make room for titles that might actually circulate. "What do you do with the discards?" my friend asked. "We have to throw them away," the librarian replied.

Throw them away!?

Because it's too much trouble to coordinate a book sale there, because the county library won't send anyone to pick them up, because nobody wants to drive them to the Goodwill or Salvation Army: because nobody else wants them, I got that pile of discards. They filled the trunk of my Honda CRV. I brought them home and started listing them on Mostly serial mysteries (the Sue Graftons, the Ed McBains), sci fi (Ursula K. LeGuin, Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl), some fairly recent textbooks (which sell like hotcakes, much to my surprise) and the ubiquitous Bridges of Madison County and its equally tiresome counterparts, Border Music, Sad Songs in an Old Cafe, and Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend. Already I've sold the nearly new copy (never made it to circulation) of The Horse Whisperer. In fact, I've already sold enough to cover the cost of gas and labor to go pick them up.

Now I need shelf space for my growing collection of craft supplies. And for my books.


I must admit that I too love selling books. I love the entire process (well not the complaints but luckily they are still rare) from finding a book to listing it and especially packaging it and sending it off. I love the international orders too. How many books do you ship a day? I used Endicia for shipping at home and it has made my life so much easier.

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So many reasons it's been a long time since we took the boys out thrift store shopping. Yesterday, Tuesday, both of us had a full day off to spend as we pleased.

First we ate at Chaffin's Diner. They seated us in the less-dinery back room, which ended up being a good thing because we sat directly beneath a fan and didn't notice so much the heat. E drank decaff coffee with cream. I didn't notice sugar. Decaff, like his Uncle D. Coffee, like his Mimi.

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A $2 Ziploc bag containing the comprehensive plastic presidential contingent from Washington through Eisenhower.

Of course E had them ordered in a matter of moments.

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