Things I am learning at my NotJob

As mentioned previously, I've been going in to the main library in Anchorage to volunteer a couple times a week. They have me working on organizing books for the upcoming book sale. I have impressed them so much with my skills that I've been promoted from being an assistant volunteer in the nonfiction section to She Who Rules over Fiction. I will also be managing about 10 cadets from a local military school when it comes time to set up for what is gearing up to be a massive book sale. I am told the cadets will call me ma'am. I approve of this.

Anyway. Fun tidbits from the Dungeon (for that is what the underground room with all the books is called):

First off, these books are a steal. The hard-backs are $2, the nice big "Oprah" paperbacks (the kind you see in airport bookstores, which normally sell for $12 - $15) are only 50 friggin' cents, and the ratty little trade paperbacks are 25 cents. They need to be charging more for those Oprah books, I tell you. Nearly all of them are brand spanking new.

I can steal books from the shelves and read them as long as I bring them back before the sale.

People in Alaska (or possibly just the US in general) really, really love Nora Roberts. I've never read her. I don't know how anyone can write that many books--there is an entire section just for her. I bet she doesn't even write them anymore. She probably uses a computer program that takes material from the first 15 novels and then spits out a new one. Or perhaps, like VC Andrews, she is actually dead but still has books published in her name. In support of this theory, I noticed a sticker on one paperback which guarantees that it's a brand-new Nora Roberts novel. Readers must be noticing how familiar the stories seem.

Other people with their own shelves: Clive Cussler, James Patterson, Danielle Steel, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum. Meh.

There are entirely too many thrillers out there.

What is the difference between a thriller and a mystery? To me if it's about cops or detectives and uses the words "gritty" or "racing" or "explosive" in the description, it's a thriller. But I have no way to know if that is true. Is any kind of whodunit a mystery? (Note: I just did a Google search for the difference between mystery & thriller and found this helpful list. The lady could be talking rubbish, though.)

Some mistaken volunteer has been putting chick lit in the romance section. My brain nearly exploded. I caught the error in time, though. Chick lit is SO not the same thing as romance. For one thing (and this is how I explained it to the rest of the staff) it costs more. I'm probably earning the library a whole 5 bucks by moving those books back over into the Oprah category.

Another volunteer (the one I'll be replacing as She Who Rules over Fiction, because she's moving) and I spent all afternoon bundling up sets of books with a pretty yarn bow and a cute li'l dangly price tag. It was her idea. The sets were things like:

  • 4 Oprah book club reads
  • 4 books by Nicholas Sparks
  • 4 books by Anita Shreve
  • 4 Booker Award books
  • 4 books by Pulitzer-prize-winner authors
  • 4 of the same book (book-club sets)
  • 4 books-made-into-films
I wanted to go crazy with those sets, actually. I could just see the potential, and the books were all there, stacks and stacks and stacks of them:
  • Chick Lit sets (BJD, Shopoholic series, Nanny Diaries)
  • Near Eastern Writers
  • A.S. Byatt (I did do this one, actually)
  • Irish Writers (Frank McCourt, Roddy Doyle)
  • Writers Who Move to Europe and Buy Old Homes and Eat Fabulous Food (Peter Mayle, Frances Mayes, etc.)
But I eventually had to stop. Maybe I'll do some more this week. And so help me, if people try to switch out books during the sale or dismantle the sets I will go all Soup Nazi on them. "No books for you!" I mean, seriously. They are paying 2 dollars for $40 worth of books. It couldn't get any better.


Lindsay said... [reply]

I LOVE library book sales! It's amazing what you can find for dirt dirt cheap. Good times.

Desmama said... [reply]

Sweet! My mom helps out with my little hometown's "cottage" library (it really is). They had a book sale a while back with dirt-cheap prices too. Nice. I think the books you're selling are cooler, though. Wish I could come. (Dang it! Just remembered I missed Logan Library's book sale last week! *Pouts*).

noelle feather said... [reply]

I too love library book sales. A few years ago I got some HARDCOVER John Grishams. I was SO SO SO SO SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY. I have a mini collection of Grisham books, and to have "The Rainmaker" in hardcover is absolutely amazing.

I bought it for $1. I was very happy. :)

I love reading about your book adventures! :)

The McCulloch Family said... [reply]

I am so excited for Christmas this year thanks to your new notjob!!!! Only since you don't have a job you should probably take some change out of Dad's change dish to cover the cost. I think whole libraries should be shelved in those kinds of catagories. That'd be awesome. Think of all the cool subjects you could have

'Books for crap boys to read'
'Good chiclit that was made into bad movies'

You could go on forever.

FoxyJ said... [reply]

So jealous. Library book sales are the way to go (and DI). We've decided to try hard not to buy books for the next year or so while we're in this teeny little apartment. I'm not sure how well that resolve will hold though. Especially since we have a credit card that gives us reward points for Amazon.

Desmama said... [reply]

FoxyJ--the credit card. Do tell. It sounds like a temptation I may not be able to resist (maybe you shouldn't tell me then.)

Panini said... [reply]

the little girl I mentored is crazy about Nora Roberts--I haven't read her, but I don't get it. (lovely sets and congrats on your promotion!) :)

Th. said... [reply]


When people say we own so many books, I smirk because know that we did not pay so much for them.

Eva said... [reply]

I'm the type of person that will go to a book sale, grab all the classics I can find and then stand around for two hours waiting for the books to go down to $5 per bag so I don't have to pay $2 per book. :-D

You know, not that I do that every year or anything.

TannerJ5 said... [reply]

At least your book sales are not full of scholastic promotion and weird parents yelling at you, and really expensive prices.Darn school book sales.

FoxyJ said... [reply]

The credit card is an Amazon rewards card. It's like a lot of cards where every dollar you spend gets you 1 point and for every 2500 points (ie 2500 dollars) you get a 25 dollar gift certificate for Amazon. We use ours like a debit card and just pay it off every month, so we've been racking up a lot of free books over the last two years! It actually kind of takes the sting out of all of our moving expenses to know that we just got all three of Shannon Hale's trilogy in hardback. Every time I use my Amazon Visa I feel like a nerd...

(end commercial)

ekb said... [reply]

Umm . . . So you do the Byatt grouping but not the chick lit one? What's up with that. Priorities. Sheesh.

(Oh, and what's going to be in the chick lit bundle anyway?)

Saxon said... [reply]

I pay even less for msot of my books as I get them free from work :-)

Miss Hass said... [reply]

FoxyJ--I have the same card. Locked up in a lockbox somewhere in my tiny apartment. Somehow that hasn't prevented me from amassing so many books in the last year and a half that I had to buy a five shelf bookshelf two weekends ago.

Reasons I'm glad I don't work at the library sale. Sadly, these reasons do not outweight my burning desire to work at the booksale in order to get more books. Because I love them.

CoolMom said... [reply]

Happy Belated Birthday to me!!! I actually don't want any presents until after the Book Sale!!!

Cicada said... [reply]

It's almost worth a trip to Alaska...

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