Of Clamshells and Grocery Bags

Local library sale over the last week. Went on Saturday for the final day, $5.00 per grocery bag. Came out with two and a half bags filled, one slung over my shoulder in my Guardian tote, the QUIXOTE traffic jam now a 30+ book pile-up, a glorious sight of spines and titles and possibilities.

Down ramps and stairs pointed out by persistent locative signage, the sale. A room of books begging to find a home and a row of VHS tapes that triggered fond memories of my grandfather renting movies from that library when I was growing up, movies he thought I should see. $0.50 rentals, or maybe $0.75. Row of red clamshells (for single-cassette films) and large charcoal clamshells (for the double-cassette films). Had I found some of the films I was raised on—the Bela Lugosi DRACULA (1931) (RIP Martin Landau), the double cassette charcoal clamshells of the Republic serials of William Whitney and John English, MYSTERIOUS DOCTOR SATAN (1940), THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (1941), I would have filled even more grocery bags with memories. Briefly tempted by a VHS copy of THE ROCKETEER (1991) though I talked myself out of it.

Among the treasures: 1957’s A TREASURY OF THE WORLD’S GREAT DIARIES, edited by Philip Dunaway and Mel Evans. Looking forward to digging into it and seeing what awaits. Also: an early hardback of ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE to join my early paperback copy of the same.

QUIXOTE progress: p. 815 of 891. Light at the end of the tunnel. The traffic jam honks.