Sunday, January 09, 2011

Books at the Bouldin House

OK, I did that thing again. That buying books instead of food thing. I was about to start two part-time jobs (finally!), but I just couldn't get rid of the bookstore idea. I had almost forgotten about last weekend's auction at the Bouldin House, a historic bed & breakfast that is up for sale. The auction had already started and I was just finishing my breakfast when I saw a reminder online. They advertised furnishings, appliances. No books were mentioned. But it was a lovely house and I wanted to see what they had. So I went.

They had books. I saw one or two crates I was interested in and tried to keep track of them as the helpers carried them down. I didn't want to accidently bid on the ones full of magazines or old software boxes. I didn't have a choice though, because they put all four large bins up for one sale.

I got all four, for a decent price.

There were some great buys at the auction, and a few things sold at higher prices. This is furniture country, and a friend of mine got a nice bedroom set for her daughter. It was entertaining to watch her with a cell phone to her ear, trying to hear a family member while keeping up with the auctioneer. Our youth group happened to be there, selling hamburgers from the large wraparound porch, and other people I knew showed up to check out the bargains.

I waited around to try for a comfy kitchen chair, but of course it went with an entire set which was out of my league. I bid on a couple of benches that went up in price, but finally got a large ottoman. Then I started bidding on a large, very nice rug. I never thought I'd get it, but the auctioneer nudged me and I knew it was worth something. The other bidder gave in and I ended up getting it for one-fifth of the sale price on the tag. When I got it home — my car was full by now — I looked at the tag. Did I mention this was furniture country? With all the design and carpet businesses, too? I found myself the proud owner of a new, hand-woven oriental rug from India, that I had bought at one-twentieth of its original price.

It's a very large, very nice rug. For the bookstore. That I don't have. Yet.

Oh, and the books. Yes, there were a few magazines and useless software guides. What drew my interest were the coffee table books about local cities. I'm hoping those alone will pay for the rest of the books. Now, here's the hard part about bookselling. High Point, Reflections of the Past had old photos of familiar places, including the Bouldin House.

The idea of bookselling is that you're supposed to sell the books. But I wanted to keep this one. I looked through the crates and — voila! There was more than one! This time, at least, I get to have my cake and eat it too.

I was pleasantly surprised to find travel and history, as well as a few mysteries. Another book tempted me: A Museum of Early American Tools. I tried to tell myself that I couldn't keep everything. But then I saw drawings of tanning tools and thought, that's just what I need for my novel! One of the main characters is a tanner. So Tools stays, at least for now.

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