Sometimes coming up with something to blog about is rough. It’s not that I don’t have enough to write about, but rather I don’t know what objects or subjects to honor. So was the case with today’s column — but then hubby brought in a box of vintage paperback books from the van.
The box was one of several loaded with goodies from a local book sale. The book sale began as any sale does, with dealers running to rummage first; and ended as any book sale does with the bag sale, with as many as you can fit in the bag for a cheap price. Given that everyone in our house is a book lover, we try to avoid the pain of not being able to afford all the books we desire by attending the bag sale portion of any book sale. Given that at a dollar a bag we can go a little nuts, we end up with boxes of books.
In order to properly pay, books are first placed into bags, the bags stuffed into boxes, and the boxes packed into the van. We return home and carry boxes into the house. Once we get in the house, our greed to experience the books distracts us from making trip number two (or three, four and five) back out to the van to get the rest, invariably leaving boxes in the van — until one of us, likely reaching for something else, rediscovers the remaining boxes and the process repeats until all boxes are eventually brought into the house.
So here, on this I-don’t-know-what-to-write-about evening, hubby deposits at my feet a box of books and I rationalize that in investigating the contents of the box I am not procrastinating but rather am taking care of business.
Now, it would be easy to get lost in these new-to-me books. Their vintage covers delight with titles, illustrations, and marketing slogans; their subjects and stories promise such fun; but even if I could select one to start with, even if I had the time to read, I have no room to curl up on the couch for I have books piled all around me.
The piles form my initial classification system, as each book is sorted into subject or theme based on my collecting genres. From here I am to carry the books to their designated shelves (where they will continue to wait until I have enough time to read them). Now that I have emptied the box, it is time to carry them to the shelves. Only there is one little problem…
I have run out of shelving.
Technically, I may have spaces here and there which some would say I could slide books into… But these spaces are not where the books belong. For example, there is space on my ‘childhood horses collection‘ shelf; but the box, sadly, contained no such books and I am too anal to place anything else in that space. What am I to do?
Well, like any collector who finds herself out of space, I ponder the necessity of things like the dinning room table… Do we really need to keep dishes in all those lovely cabinets? When hubby sees me looking wistfully at the kitchen he gets that look in his eye and I know better to say anything — but really, he’s going to have to find space for the books which are his…
Anyway, it is at this point that I realize I am stuck with no other option but to place the books back into the bags, then the bags back into the box, and slide the box… Um, slide the box… Well, tuck it next to the couch for now.
Yes, I’m still going to need to worry about this pesky shelving problem, but as Scarlet says, “Tomorrow is another day,” and I have a column to write.
Now, for what most of you wanted, here are thirteen random paperbacks from the box of books.
On Becoming A Woman, “A frank, modern discussion of everything a teen-age girl wants and needs to know,” by Mary McGee Williams & Irene Kane, with an introduction by Louise Bates Ames of the Gesell Institute; copyright 1958, 1959, 1969, Dell Publishing Co., Inc. The binding’s not even cracked on this one… Gee, I wonder why? But I had to snap it up for my what does it mean to be female collection (to be called my ‘female collection, for short).
As My World Still Turns, America’s Soap Opera Queen Reveals Her Life Of Love & Heartbreak — On & Off The Screen, copyright 1995 Eileen Fulton, Desmond Atholl and Michael Cherkinian, St. Martin’s Paperbacks. Now you may think I grabbed this for my female collection, but honestly, As The World Turns has been a part of my family history since I can remember. And guess what? It’s signed by Fulton!
The Case of the Fan-Dancer’s Horse, a Perry Mason murder mystery, a Pocket Book Mystery, by Erle Stanley Gardner (first thus, June, 1952). I haven’t yet decided to collect Gardner books, but the covers sure have their pulpy-goodness which appeals.
The Indian Tipi, It’s History Construction, And Use, by Reginald and Gladys Laubin (Tatanka Wanjila na Wiyaka Wastewin), December, 1975 Ballantine printing. Grabbed because it fit in the bag — and you never know when I might just downsize my life and move into a tipi… Yeah, right; it fit in the bag.
The Soap Opera Syndrome, The Drive For Drama and Excitement In Women’s Lives, by Joy Davidson, PhD; copyright 1988, Berkley. Naturally a part of the female collection, but also because As The World Turns was a huge part of my life.
The Stars Are Ours!, Andre Norton, ACE, 1954, is kitschy sci-fi cover goodness.
The Advertising Man, by Jack Dillon, Fawcett Crest Book, copyright 1972. This novel caught my eye for the, “Have you ever thought about the men behind those ads you see in magazines, buses, or on television?” line.
Sadie Shapiro’s Knitting Book, “A hilarious, touching novel by Robert Kimmel Smith”, 1973, Fawcett Crest. Who could resist that?
They Went Thataway, From Tom Mix to Tonto — the cowboy movies and the men who made them — where are they now? by James Horowitz, first Ballantine edition, January, 1978. My guess is that the info on where they are isn’t accurate anymore, but as I know nothing about those old western flicks, what could it hurt?
A Redhead For Mike Shayne, a Mike Shayne Mystery, copyright 1964, (this is the first Dell printing, November, 1972) snapped up for the pulp cover.
The Wendy Dilemma, When Women Stop Mothering Their Men, by Dr. Dan Kiley, author of The Peter Pan Syndrome, 1984, Avon. I’m a sucker, as seen, for self-help books (unless they are about organization).
The Book of Rack The Healer, by Zach Hughes, Award Books, 1973, originally appeared in Worlds of IF, August & October, 1972. OK, I’ll be honest here; I thought the cover art was er, sexy… and it has the word ‘rack’ in it. (The back cover does contain the words ‘sexual needs’, so I’m still hoping.)
The Coven, “A sensational novel of Washington intirigue and witchcraft by Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt writing as David St. John” — what?! A must read. (Fawcett Crest, printed October, 1973)