It started innocently enough. I was reaching for a $2 used cookbook full of low-fat muffin recipes when I realized too late that someone else had their eye on it first, and they were playing for keeps.
I had stumbled into the bowels of this bibliophile mayhem quite by accident that day, popping in for what I intended as a morning of browsing for books with my toddler. Instead, I found myself smack in the middle of a roller derby equivalent of book buying.
The frenzy was catchy, and before I knew it, I was digging through the heaps of books with one hand and balancing my baby in the other, trying to shield her from the bumps and jostles that I quite quickly learned go with the territory on opening day of the used library book sale. But I was ill-equipped to say the least. I had no laundry basket or backpack to corral my finds, and this was clearly no place to have a small child in tow.
As I learned more about the book sale, I found out just what a coveted event it is. People actually line up early in the morning, hours before the doors open, to have their first crack at the book bargains waiting within. Of course, everything you find is such a steal, and there are soooo many books to chose from, I’m not quite sure what those early birds catch that we mid-morning folks don’t.
Other than the sheer fun of being first, I wager there’s one distinct advantage to getting there early. When the doors open, the copious volumes of books are neat, tidy and ordered, painstakingly sorted and organized by volunteers for months in the lead up to the sale. But within a couple of short hours, all that hard work has devolved into precariously towering stacks of books, threatening to tumble down and land in a heap at your feet should you dare an extraction of an interesting title part-way down the pile.
Jesting aside, the library sale is not to be missed. It’s coming up Thursday, July 25, through Saturday, July 28, at the Waynesville library starting a 9 a.m. each day. And they have TONS of children’s books for all ages, no matter what day you make it.
If you want to introduce your kids to the makers behind the books they read, Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville will have an appearance at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27, from author Anna Browning and illustrator Josh Crawford — both of whom went to high school in Haywood County and to WCU — with their new children’s book Tanner Turbeyfill and the Moon Rocks. See our Books page for more about their literary creation.
Also, the musical “Annie” is opening this weekend at the Highlands Playhouse and will run through August 17. For most of us, it’s a bit of a haul to get to Highlands, but a stage production of “Annie” with a full cast of 24 is too much to pass up. They have matinees on Sunday if you want to make a day of it. www.highlandsplayhouse.org.
Lastly, I must put in an early plug for the The Big Latch On coming up Saturday, Aug. 3. If you have a baby and are breast-feeding, here’s your chance to help set a world record. In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, Big Latch On events are being held around the globe in hopes of setting a record for the most number of breastfeeding moms simultaneously nursing. Head over to the community room of the Sylva library starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, and be ready to partake in the big nurse when the clock hits 10:30 a.m. 828.587.8214.