A local newspaper here organizes a huge annual book sale, which happened this past weekend, and it’s always one of my favourite events of the year. Which is a little sad, but let’s not dwell on that. All of the books are donated, and the proceeds go to local literary programs, so it’s a good excuse to buy way too many books without any guilt. It’s $1 for a trade paperback, $2 for a larger paperback, and $3 for a hardcover.
Over 500,000 books were donated this year, and they made $158,150 ($2,000,000 since first starting the sale seventeen years ago). It’s a two-day long event, and until mid-afternoon there’s usually a line to get in. We were there at 10:00am Saturday morning, and we waiting about half an hour. It’s worth the wait, because when you enter you’re greeted with rows upon rows of books to browse through, and even though it’s incredibly crowded, everyone seems to be in a good mood.
I bought twenty books for $34 and stayed for two and a half hours. My girlfriend and I went for eggs Benedict afterwards. Mine had a base of Scottish potato scones and was topped with black pudding, maple caramelized red onions, bacon, poached eggs and a whisky hollandaise sauce. It was a pretty great morning.
Here’s a horrible photo I took before I left town. My intention was to only come home with a few choice picks, but I just kept finding more and more books. But hey, it’s for charity!
Events like these are a refreshing reminder that a lot of people still love to read, and that paper books are still alive and well in the digital age. You couldn’t have an event like this with eBooks, and I like to think of this as a sign that eBooks and paper books can continue to live in harmony.