February 19, 2014

Phoenicians love books

and so do plenty of other people! Know how I know?? Because we will do this:

The line of people outside the VNSA book sale last weekend, waiting to get in the building at the State Fairgrounds. This line wasn't  too bad; I got there at 11:30 am and got into the building about noon (fire codes, you know- they don't let everyone in at once). People will camp out overnight (even though they're really not 'supposed to') to be first in line- or at least towards the front-- for this sale!! A volunteer told me someone was there since Thursday, staying in his RV, so he could be sure to be first! Why were we waiting, you might ask?? 

For this!! Books, books, and more books, as far as the eye could see! This was looking one direction, and the picture below was looking the other. It takes the volunteers a week or more to get set up, and that's after having everything sorted and priced already. It is truly overwhelming, and you could easily be there all day. I was there for about 3 hours, and spent all my time in the movie, crafting, history, and nature/science sections. I didn't even venture into the Fiction areas, because I knew if I did, I'd never get out of there. 

This charity (originally part of the 'Visiting Nurse Society') collects books all year long and sorts and prices them at a warehouse they have somewhere. According to their website, 150 volunteers work year-round to sort and price books for the largest charity booksale in the Southwest. 'more than 7300 boxes of books' get donated, categorized, sorted, and priced. (hmmmm... I wonder if volunteers get to pre-buy?? probably not...) Their website also says the 2013 sale had more than 500,000 books and book-related items (they also sell CDs, bookmarks, magazines, record albums, sheet music, puzzles, board games, etc.), and had more than 12,000 shoppers. Impressive, isn't it?? It also attracts shoppers from all over the US- a couple years ago I was in line behind some people who came in from California specifically for the sale!

Here's a you-tube video of the sale from a couple years ago, so you can see a bit of it in action. 

my cart after my first-pass: movies, a few craft magazines,
and a huge pile of scrapping and crafting books.
This photo is the 'first-pass' of books in my cart, along with my 'book sale fuel' of Diet Dr. Pepper and a protein bar. (some people have carts brimming to the top; mine was actually pretty puny in comparison.) If it looked interesting at all, I tossed it in my cart to go through later. Get while the getting is good!! I learned a couple years ago (the hard way) not to deliberate too long at the tables, otherwise someone else will grab it while you're still thinking about it. I do all my thinking later, after I know I have it in my grasp, at least.

At the end of my search, I hunkered down in a quiet corner of the exhibit hall to go through my haul-- flip through the crafting books, look at the DVDs, and weed out what I really wanted from what would go back onto the tables. Since Saturday was 'full-price' day, I deliberated more about them than I would have on Sunday, when things would be half-price: i.e., "How much did I want them versus what I was willing to pay for them?" (Deliberating over how much I wanted a $3-$4 DVD could seem a bit silly, but then again, I had 20 or more of them in my cart, and wanted to stick to somewhat of a budget!) Some people will go back on Sunday (half-price day) and shop all over again, too, but I knew I wasn't going to do that, so Saturday's prices were it for me. (and again, they're always super-reasonable, anyway.)

a map of the exhibit hall-- and believe me, you need a map!

My final haul, pared down QUITE a bit from my initial pass. A number of DVDs (a couple of them never even opened!), a selection of books, magazines, and a couple counted-cross stitch patterns. My personal score of the day? A book discussing the history of scrapbooking, with gorgeous photographs of historical scrapbooks- I looked at it in the bookstore, but never wanted to spend $40+ for it. My VNSA price? $4!! (I know; it's great, isn't it?!?!?!!) It all fit into two shopping bags, so not too bad, overall! 

Now, if I could just find the time to read them!!?!? (oh, and a place to put them all, too!!)


scrapperjen said...

Oh my heavens! That looks like a FANTASTIC way to spend a couple of hours! It looks like you got lots of goodies.
Happy reading and movie watching!

Alison said...

WOW!...what a great haul....and all for a great cause!
Alison xx