Friday night, I went to Hinshaw United Methodist Church in Greensboro. It was their 12th annual book sale, although I had never heard of it before — and wouldn't have, except that I saw their flyer on the counter at Pages Past bookshop. Only a few people were there when I arrived, but the crowd steadily grew as I browsed.
They had a good variety, with lots of fiction. As a matter of fact, as I worked my way around the room, I deduced that someone must have emptied out their science fiction book collection.
My arms were getting laden down with books, but the choices included possible first editions by Arthur C. Clarke, Ben Bova and Isaac Asimov. I even grabbed a couple of Harry Potter sequels of the first U.S. printing. I stashed them in a box so I could continue browsing.
The picture shows a two-volume sci-fi collection from 1959, with paper dust jackets. Both contain the tantalizing dedication, "This book is for PHYLLIS as what is not?"
I added some paperback classics (don't we always tell ourselves that we'll read them?) and recent autobiographies of prominent reporters.
My older acquisitions included a Young People's History of North Carolina, published in 1916 with many illustrations and a few photographs, a 1904 (seventh printing) book of etiquette by Emily Holt, and a 1943 "coffee table" book of Literary England Photographs.
My now-heavy box also included a thin paperback of Women's Fashion in England, 1818-1828; The Illustrated History of Britain; and True Tales of the South at War. All pretty irresistible, but I started to worry that I hadn't restrained myself enough.
But when I checked out at less than $40, any remnants of guilt evaporated.