Friday, September 25, 2009


The bookcase hugged the whole wall with the aisles holding several more. Ah, the wonderful aroma of old musty books at the Goodwill. I began to touch the spines while quickly reading the titles and moving down the row when my fingers found "Kentucky Hospitality". My interest was piqued and I pulled it down. Pay dirt! A 1976 recipe book, sans cover, but filled with stories about making hooch in the "hills" and Mint Juleps in the parlor. $2.99 - a bargain!

Further down the same bookshelf I found another discarded jewel, the Farm Journal's Country Cooking, 1959 - also sans cover, but at $2.99 I had to have it.

I was distracted by a couple in one of the aisles with a baby nestled in one of those carriers. I smiled as I heard them laughing softly and as I turned to get a better look at the baby my smile froze.

That couple were working together, one pulling books from the shelves and the other hitting them with one of those ISBN scanner guns. The hair on my neck practically stood on end.

My impression is that these are not book lovers seeking treasure, but treasure seekers only. I shuddered and began to quickly scan the books working diligently before they hit that wall.

Christ, I don't know why it aggravated me so. They are only trying to make a living off of true book collectors. Maybe beginning a college fund for the baby. Yet, something is so wrong about that picture!

Later on I picked up a book, The Golden Key, published in 1976 - a reissue from the 1967 first edition with new reproductions of the pictures. It was small and appeared as if it had sat unattended and unread, untouched for a very long time ending up as junk at the Goodwill. The spine was a dingy color, different from the dust jacket. I liked the illustrations and I especially like the words of J.R.R. Tolkien on the inside book jacket. No ISBN. 50 cents. I added it to the small pile in my arms.

When I got home I felt compelled to look up the value of the book on Abe's Books.


I chuckled when I imagined them picking it up and putting it down unexamined because it did not have a visable ISBN.

Suckers! That smile returned to my face.


Lisa :-] said...

Mary, you crack me up!!! :D

Chris said...

The only real valuable book I had, a collection of Shakespeare was eaten by my weimeraner as a puppy. Ironically, the dog and the book were both gifts from the same person!

Lulu LaBonne said...

It's great to get our personal treasure and I do understand your pique at the scanner couple, but maybe the goodwill shop needs to get a scanner...

@Chris, laughs - lovely story

pia said...

Wonderful slice of true life--great ending and moral :)