An Apartment Building Book Sale


I’ve been gone so long now that one might have guessed I’d given up over here. I can’t quite surrender, but neither can I do something crazy like try to sum up where I’ve been in the five months since posting last. So instead, I’ll just dive back in and see where it takes us.

Every fall, my apartment building has a used book sale. They do it as a fundraiser for the Philadelphia Free Library system and it’s always been a good way to both get rid of a few books and pick up a a handful of new reads.

The signs went up a week or so ago, and so over the weekend Scott and I did a book purge. We filled up six grocery bags with books that we’ve read (or titles that we’ve finally admitted we’re never going to read). Of course, our shelves are still groaning with books, but at least the overflow stacks are mostly managed.

This morning, as I was heading out to run a few errands, I stopped at the desk to ask if I could drop off some books for the sale. Here’s what I was told. We’re not allowed to just donate books anymore. The book sale organizer wants to go through every single potential donation and select the books for the sale.

I was seriously taken aback. First of all, I find it disturbing that just one person is curating the contents of the sale. Second, that is not how donations to this type of event work. Asking the people who are making donations to jump through a number of steps isn’t really fair. Finally, it made me feel insulted and a little judged, like I had to prove that my taste in books passed muster.

I think I’ll take my books directly to the Free Library used book store. Skip the middle man and the judgment.


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