|Volunteers confer before the arrival of the first truckload of books.|
|A couple of hours into the night, most of the tables are covered with books.|
This year, the AAUW-ers only played light classical music during the load-in for thirty minutes—still enough time for me to mention to someone that it reminded me of the orchestra at Auschwitz. After our taste of Viennese waltzes mit schlag, they moved the radio dial to greatest pop hits of the 80s, 90s, and so on station, tunes that my friend Blair called “songs you never wanted to hear again”. Except for Love Shack by the B-52s, he's gotta be ready to hear that again.
After a couple of hours of toting, there’s a short break for an al fresco meal of a soggy hoagie, piece of hand fruit, slightly burned cookies, and soft drinks. Interestingly enough, there are never any chips. Ever. In the almost ten years I’ve been toting books there have never been chips. If men were organizing this, there would be chips. If gay men were organizing the meal there would be some sort of free range, artisanal Maldon sea salt flecked heirloom veggie chips. But they still count as chips. I think it's fair to say that university women have an aversion to chips.
|The empty book cartons await shipment back to the warehouse.|
Finishing early meant that I had a little more time to shop. In addition to the nice name tag and the hoagie (remember, no chips!), the evening's big perk is about 20 minutes to shop. Volunteers are allowed to buy one tote bag or box of books. The books can be from any section of the sale except for the double-secret super-deluxe collectors room, which I've never actually been too. I'm assuming that it has first editions and old maps and a section of 8-trak tapes including the super-rare Liberace Live at the Valley Forge Music Fair. But that's just a guess.
Here are some of the great things you can buy at the sale this year:
Mother Superior, what's a quickie?
Two-fifty. Same as in town.
Christopher Buckley, whom I'm seeing at the Free Library of Philadelphia next week. He reviewed Sally Quinn's first novel, Regrets Only in Vanity Fair, calling the book "cliterature". Sally was was none too pleased.
I don't think of martinets as big minglers.
Happy shopping everyone!
53rd Annual AAUW Used Book Sale
May 10 to May 13, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Snider Ag Arena
East Park Aveue
University Park, PA 16802