Monday, June 22, 2009

lol--they told me it wouldn't work

Thirty years ago, I moved from Hawaii to the East Coast, and because it "was" such a long way, I gave everything to the library. Pretty stupid on my part, because personal libraries are accumulations, and at that point we were so broke we could barely buy groceries, much less books.

During this last move I said, "Never again." Nothing left behind. I didn't care if I'd read it recently, if I was iffy about it. I took it all with me. Over fifty plus 45 lb boxes shipped media mail. When we first moved in, I had no bed, no desk, not even a cooling stand for my laptop, but I had bookshelves.

My husband built my old shelves out of 2x4's and heavy plywood because he said there was no way I could put that kind of weight on normal shelves. He was right. When I went out and bought new ones from OfficeMax, they sure looked good, but I've noticed some have a distinct sag.

I don't think people use them for books, more like show. Like those people who collect literary hardbacks and pretend to read them.

I got my next bookcase from Pier 1. It might not be as "big" as my main bookcase, but it's heavy-duty solid wood and considering the kind of poundage on that thing (I keep my reference books there) it's holding up pretty well. I can't afford the custom stuff from that company out in Ballard. Not yet.

So--with all that space (okay, more like a free shelf or two) I started missing my trips to the Friends of the Library bookstore. Every library in King County has a sorta-bookstore, but they're old tattered up nasty things that nobody wants to buy and Oprah-books.

And sure--I might live near one of the world's biggest number of used and antiquarian bookstores, but they want a lot for their books, and I live out in the sticks so it's not worth the drive.

Garage sales don't cut it. People are pretty random. So I put an ad on Craigslist. Books wanted, I said.

lol--I don't know what the hell I was thinking. I was pretty clear--or I thought I was pretty clear.

Romances in the last fifteen years, no harlequin or Mills and Boon. Sci-fi/fantasy, no hard sci-fi, no high fantasy. I'm not into Tolkien-esque or Ben Bova. No role-playing series, no Eddings, Weis or Jordan. Non-fiction, paper or hardback. Military science, in particular Greenhill and books on military theory, not WW2 or 1. Philosophy, history, not WW2 or 1, prefer Napoleonic, regency, ancient and random stuff. Craft of writing, not writing inspiration. No magazines or cookbooks.

That's clear, right?

I got some damned weird replies.

"Would you like to buy my Navy books. I have boats and naval battles."


I said, "er...no. I'm not into Navy anything. Thanks for asking."

And I went back and edited to say, "NO Navy anything, I am not interested in naval warfare of any type." And I figured that'd be the end of it.

So the next four replies said, "Are you a "collector"? I have some stuff from the eighteen hundreds and signed copies and family bibles. I can sell you this particular thing for 800 dollars."

Of course, I--not having climate control or glass fronted cases, although I do have some stuff from the eighteen hundreds and it flakes/foxes/molds a little more every year--said, "Wow--thanks for asking. But I don't have climate control or glass fronted shelves. I'm a "reader". Not a collector."

And I went back in and edited again, "I DO NOT want your family bibles, rare/antiquarian books that cost over 500 dollars or signed anything because I'm not willing to pay for the author to have touched it"

By the time I got through adding in all the people who wanted me to buy their Oprah-books (NO Oprah-book club books, no DaVinci anything) Sweet Valley High (NO YA), children's (NO children's!!) Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, and Stephen King, my ad looked like a giant NO!!!

I was getting ready to delete the damned thing when this woman said, "My dad asked me to list the books he wants to sell."

And proceeded to list twenty years of military theory. I wanted them all. I couldn't afford them all, but I sure wanted them. Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton, Special Operations in US Strategy. I was thrilled. I also filled two shelves with stuff I'd have taken years to find.

Guess it does work. If you're willing to sift through the crazies.

7 comments:

Alice Audrey said...

I did the Craigs List thing for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Sold a couch in less than 12 hours including over night to the first person to reply, but have been unable to hire an IT guy. It really is a mixed bag. A lot of the replies, both to the couch and the job, make me think people have no idea how to communicate.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

LMAO!!! You're so funny.
I can't go through the crazies. It's just too much like my real family.

jodi said...

Alice--craigslist is the weirdest place in the world. So random it makes random look normal. I know someone who was giving away a large screen TV with resolution problems--in other words, it blurred like crazy and no one could fix it.

He got twenty replies in five minutes and someone was at his door in ten. I sold my old desk (the one from Fred Meyers) the day after I bought this new (old) one, and I must have had like fifteen messages in my inbox in the morning. I got my sony reader on craigslist. Brand new and cheap.

And you're right--people can't spell, are creepy, and just plain weird.

lol, Jen--I have psychotics in my family. The crazies are pretty tame compared to them. But I did save the ad so I can run it again next payday. :)

Alice Audrey said...

The first guy to respond to my job offer copped this attitude like he would maybe condescend to do me a favor, if I begged nice. The only one to actually get what I am trying to do wanted three times as much money as I had offered.

deanna said...

I'm glad you got books you wanted. Sounds like an interesting game, almost, to put down your preferences and see a bit of who you are.

Craiglist, very cool, but, yes, very weird.

jodi said...

People are weird, Alice. You can never tell who you'll end up with.

Lol, Deanna--after I did it and put it up I realized how much of myself I was putting out there. What you read says so much about you. The guy with the military science library...I would have liked to know. All those others? Probably not.

But you're right. In a lot of ways, it was fun. :)

Jeanna said...

If you're willing to kiss a lot of frogs I guess. I wrote an extremely specific ad to give away my old Mac and couldn't decide if people are incredibly stupid or too lazy to read your copy.
I got lucky with a bookcase from a local furniture store in the eighties, when I actually had money, and although the boards have dipped a little and the ones that fell on my head didn't kill me, it's held up great.
I can't believe you hauled all those books. I'm thinking of getting rid of at least half.
Word ver is "barph."