As part of my pre-moving ritual, I went through, winnowed out more books that I can bear to part with, and threw ’em in a box to lug to the used book store. I tried Changing Hands first, because they’re picky, but pay better, planning to take the dregs over to Bookman’s.
I get to Changing Hands, which is a Cool Liberal Bookstore of the sort that has a larger section for poetry than science fiction, where you can get scented candles and I Ching thingies and bumper stickers about the inadvisability of hugging with nuclear arms. Like I said, they pay REALLY WELL which is why they’re generally my first stop, and to their credit, they carry a solid science collection, although it is totally dwarfed by the New Age and bodywork section. (What the hell is bodywork, anyway? I keep hearing references to it, and since it doesn’t appear to be either manual labor or Bondo, I’m stumped. Izzit like that reiki thing?) Like many liberal bookstores, it is a combination of things with which I agree whole-heartedly, and things that make me want to grab someone and shake rationality into them until their teeth rattle. But that’s life for you.
So anyway, I get to Changing Hands, and discover that there are police cars. And tape. And a lot of people milling around. My first thought is that someone has gone nuts and done some really aggressive bodywork inside–possibly with a scented candle–but this would not explain the crowd. I circle the block slowly, discovering that the crowd is stretching not just around the store, but around the BLOCK. (And it’s a big block.) Hmm. Hmm, hmm, hmm. The last time something like this happened, the head of the Hell’s Angels was doing a book signing, they had a platoon of cop cars, and there were about fifty Really Big Motorcyles out front. (No word on what he thought of the scented candles.) Hmm. And people are waving Insert-Democrat-for-President signs. Huh.
I stop the car, I get out, I meander my way through the crowd until I can see the sign. Ah. Hillary Clinton is signing books. That’d explain it. Probably not the best time to bring in a load of books for sale, as the line is now revealed to wind completely through the store twice.
So I drove over to Bookman’s, sold about half of ’em, and got a cool book on Tiffany lamps. Them’s the breaks.