Saturday, April 24, 2010

Book Lust

"Where is human nature as weak as in a bookstore?" -- Henry Ward Beecher

The Friends of the Reston Library Used Book Sale is not for the faint of heart. I stumbled upon it this weekend and found myself on my knees sorting through books of essays as another woman (also on her knees) pulled them almost out of my hands.
I don't buy many books these days. My house is full of them already. But the Reston Used Book Sale is a notable exception. Hardbacks for $1.50 and paperbacks for as little as 50 cents. How could I resist Rural Hours (1850) by Susan Fenimore Cooper (daughter of James), billed as one of the earliest pieces of American nature writing and the first by a woman? Or The Footpaths of Britain, complete with marginalia from a previous owner? Or Book Lust -- a telling choice, given the quietly intent crowd at the book sale. Book lust. That's what it is. That's why I was at the book sale. It's why all of us were there.


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