Deja Vu, All Over Again, Or I Loves Me A Good’un

John Clark talking about two seemingly disparate activities I really like. It began back in the 1980s when I discovered how addicting and fun computer role playing games (RPGs) were. The Ultima series, Might and Magic games, Eye Of The Beholder, the Elder Scrolls series, and so many more pulled me into new worlds where dungeon crawls, fighting all sorts of baddies (from giant spiders to fire-breathing dragons), and defusing locks on treasure chests absorbed countless hours. I never knew whether the contents of a treasure chest were going to be rotten cabbage, or a +9 Ring of Protection.

That was a big part of the attraction to these games, having a random chance of getting the item you needed to defeat the bad guy at the end of the game. It explains the attraction of instant scratch tickets, although I seldom buy any.

While I still play an occasional game (and buy way too many I might never get around to trying), Writing and creating new worlds and interesting characters tends to steal much of my game-playing time. Frankly, I find myself writing as much to discover what’s going to happen next, as anything.

That leads to another pastime that has the same thrill, for me at least, as opening those treasure chests deep in a dungeon. I love a good library book sale. I tend to buy a lot when I go, but not to read. Instead, I rely on a skill I developed quite by accident when I was the librarian in Hartland. It began when a friend was discarding a considerable number of items from an academic library. They were offered to all Maine libraries via MELIBS-L the library listserv. There were a few takers, but at least a pick-up truck load remained, so I claimed them and soon discovered that many sold for serious money online.

By the time I retired from the library world, I could tell rather quickly what books were worth selling online. I started selling to keep myself busy, while generating some spending money (although a lot of it has landed in the 529 plans for our three grandkids).

COVID-19 killed off library book sales. Not only did libraries not feel comfortable having them, many stopped accepting donations because they had no room or volunteers to process them. That drought, with a few exceptions, lasted until recently.

May brought two dandy sales less than a week apart. The first was a 25 cent per item at the Gray Public Library, Both daughter Lisa and I went, although I stayed far longer than she did. By the time I was done, my car was filled, and the great crew their Friends group assembled were happy with what I spent. Even better was the Buck-A-Bag sale at the Auburn Public Library. It ran from Wednesday to Saturday. I hit it twice because they had so many good items.

In addition to finding plenty to sell online as I triaged stuff, I set aside a bunch of graphic novels for Arthur the eleven year old boy I mentor at the Alfond Center here in Waterville. He was thrilled, so I’m keeping my eye out for more at future book sales. My swimming buddy Caroline has a brother with cerebral palsy who lives in a nursing home and loves classical music. I pulled out fifty or so CDs and passed them on to him. All three grandkids got their share of board and picture books, with Piper selecting a few chapter books as well.

I also share the wealth by listing more books on where I’ve traded/received more than ten thousand books over the years. It’s neat to get an email thank you from a recipient who has been looking for a particular book for years.

If you’re not attending the Maine Crime Wave this coming Saturday, you might want to check out the yard and book sale at the Lawrence Public Library in Fairfield.

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1 Response to Deja Vu, All Over Again, Or I Loves Me A Good’un

  1. Pingback: Deja Vu, All Over Again, Or I Loves Me A Good’un – Trenton Farmings

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