Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

Booking it

I've never been able to resist the NYT January book sale even though I have more than enough books. Way more than enough. However, I have managed to stay away from the Housing Works book fair. This year I wanted to go, since who knows what gems I could find for $1. So I planned to go, but kept looking for signs that I shouldn't, other than the obvious one that I have more books than I have room or time for.

The afternoon of the sale, I put my "want" and "have" lists in my totebag. First, I had to mail those 2 books I've been carrying around. As I approached the post office, a woman introduced herself as J from the NYT forum (I had met her at Stamford) and told me she's moving into my building. We discussed the amenities of this complex, and she too will soon be lounging on a terrace (though not too soon, since she's coming in December or January).

After mailing the books, it still was well in advance of the 6 pm book fair closing. I got on the subway, switched to a D at 59th, but got off at West 4th when they announced it was becoming an F. Maybe that was a sign I should turn back? I then found out that the F also goes to Broadway-Lafayette (I don't know downtown) so got back on the next train. Once outside, I wasn't sure where Crosby St. was though I'd been to the Housing Works store once before (for a BookCrossing gathering), but soon ran into someone handing out fliers for the book fair so I knew I was in the right direction.

There it was, an entire block full of U-shaped tables piled with boxes of books, on, around, and under. $1 each hardcover or 2/$1 paperback. Also CD's, clothes and food, which I didn't get to at all. The books were in no order whatsoever, so I had my work cut out for me. My rule was only books on my want list, and after methodically going around about half the tables I had 7 hardcovers and 1 paperback. By then, my legs were hurting from squatting up and down to check out the boxes on the ground, and my arms were hurting from carrying an increasing number of books. I then saw the hardcover version of the book I had in paperback, so took that instead.

I didn't think I could carry any more books, and it was crowded and I was getting hot, so I paid for the books and loaded them in the 2 tote bags I'd brought. At the NYT, I can leave books in Will's desk and bring them home gradually, while here I was limited to what I could carry. I'll have to go back to the store sometime.

I took the subway at Prince since it was closer to where I was and the bags were already feeling cumbersome. Heading down the stairs, I found my legs really hurt. I'm so unfit. There were more stairs switching at 34th, and again when I got home. I didn't think 8 books would be such a burden. Some screaming kids on the train didn't help my mood either.

Checking Librarything.com at home, I found I already had one of the books (my printed lists were left over from the NYT sale in January, so not completely current), but still not a bad haul for $8 plus 2 subway fares.

Today my upper legs and upper arms still hurt (kvetch). I spent the day on LA Times puzzles due tomorrow, which took 4.5 hours of actual work extended with frequent breaks or snacks.

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