Do you like books? I love books! And I love the library. One of my most favorite events, that I look forward to all year, is the St. Charles City-County Library Book Fair. Last year, well, you know what happened. But, this year, well, it was like the commercial says, hugs will be sweeter, hot dogs will taste better, or whatever they say, being able to attend the Book Fair this year was almost like the school picnic day when I was a kid. I could hardly sleep the night before!
I generally like to borrow books from the library. It’s free, and heaven knows, we don’t need more clutter. However, I just can’t resist the book fair. Why should I?
Now that we are retired, Dan and I volunteer for one three-hour shift on the first day of the fair. We request sitting down positions. While we are good people, our reasons for volunteering at the book fair are not that altruistic. If you volunteer, you get a free bag of books! Sign me up, baby!
The bag they give you for the free bag-o-books is just one of those plastic bags you get at the grocery store. But! If you purchase a $3 “Friends of the Library” reusable bag, you can fill that instead. This bag holds more books, and the way I pack them in, the $3 is just a tiny investment. The return on investment is in the hundreds of percent! I should be so lucky with the stock market.
After our three hour shift, we spent two hours making our selections. It’s kind of interesting to me. In the past, I’ve selected cooking books, craft books, decorating books, books about health, books about travel, and who knows what else. I was going to do everything from making cake pops that look like ducks to making stained glass and sock puppets and then turning all kinds of trash into treasure. I almost felt I was starting a whole new life when I left the book fair those years. Now, in fairness, I did do some of those things.
But this year, I chose mostly fiction. If I saw a favorite author and couldn’t remember having read it, in the bag it went. I also picked up a copy of “The Diary of Anne Frank” and a book with Harry Truman’s letters to Bess. I did pick up a copy of “The Mayo Clinic Diet”, but back on the table it went. I did find five empty journals. Can I say I’m grateful for my gratitude journals?
The book fair sells everything from puzzles to cake pans to DVDs and CDs. Even the old albums and VHS tapes were out for sale. I think there were some video game cartridges, too. Every bookworm in town comes out of the woodwork, along with those who want to make a buck reselling online their found classics. Teachers fill their classrooms shelves, and families come through the line with kids carrying their selected treasures. What better way to encourage curiosity, reading, and learning?
After our big day, we went home, happy and hungry. We ordered Jimmie Johns to be delivered. The recliner and I were good friends that night. It wasn’t the school picnic, but it sure was a good day. Do you like book fairs?