Where To Explore for Gold

I don’t often come across library book sales, but when I do, I’m in love. These book sales are to a bibliophile what the Seven Cities of Gold must have been to Francisco Vazquez Coronado, a promise of vast riches. I love “old” books and have closets full of them to prove it. Many, if not most, have come from library book sales and antique shops. I’m afraid, though, in monetary terms, instead of getting richer as Coronado was hoping to do, I get poorer—but not by much because books at such sales are notoriously cheap. And the problem is I actually read them—well except for a few bought at antique shops in such stellar condition that I fear touching them.

I grew up loving books that were, to put it mildly, less than contemporary with my time and age. I started with the books I had at home as a child. There were not a lot of them, but the ones I had were “old”—actually were such classics as Little Women, Little Men, and a tattered Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Having two older brothers, I suspect there were a Kit Carson and a Roy Rogers lying around, but I’ve always had problems reading “cowboy books.” Because I grew up on a small family ranch (stock farm is what my father called it), that may seem odd. It’s not that I didn’t adore our setting and life. I loved the farm/ranch setting then and still do now, but I didn’t care for narratives having to do with chasing off rustlers, dealing with the latest gunslinger in town, or starting out on a dusty trail drive. No, I didn’t really care to read about riding the range or punching cattle across long miles of terrain or grown men reduced to shoot’ ‘em ups.

I did, however, gravitate toward—well, more like cherish—pioneer tales! Pioneer stories were about families and how families ventured forward into unknown territories and worked together to withstand the harsh realities of taming land and building shelter and scratching from the very earth substance and sustenance. Such stories provide realism, adventure, and the romance of accomplishment all rolled into one untidy ball. Perfect.

So, because of library sales, I am able to return to the days of yore. As a little girl, I often dwelled in yesteryears I otherwise would never have known. Now, most of the books I hoard are not simply written about an earlier time or historical period but were frequently contemporary at the time of their publication, a time usually not contemporary with me. So, what is the moral of this bit of rambling? Here it is. Visit library sales! Gold awaits you.

2 thoughts on “Where To Explore for Gold

  1. Whether in the library, bookstore, thrift shop, or garage sale, books have always drawn me to investigate the unknown. Crowds of people offer the same opportunity in that every person has their unique story, but books are always welcoming and approachable.


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