Friends of St. Charles County Library Book Fair

8/17/2014 03:37:00 PM Lexie Dunne 22 Comments

I live in St. Louis, which is a surreal feeling this past week with so much of the world focused on Ferguson, which is about 25 minutes away from where I live and work. My local library has a really nice set-up and I’ve been starting to use it more to get work done. One really cool thing they do, and I wouldn’t have found out about it if Gail weren’t driving me nuts last week, is the Friends of St. Charles County Library Book Fair, which is where they pile hundreds of thousands of books in a room on plastic folding tables and just let the public graze.

HEAVEN. I'M IN HEAVEN.
Oh yes. Yes, indeed. Tables upon tables of delightful books, all for the (cheaply priced) taking. I met my mother on Friday afternoon at the convention center and together, we boldly went where no Dunne has gone before.

I should stop and tell you a little bit about Mama Dunne, who sits on the library board in my hometown. You’re not going to find anybody on the planet more excited that I’m getting published than Mama Dunne (except maybe Papa Dunne). Mama D is where I got my love of books. Grounding meant taking away my books. Good grades were rewarded with books. When I was about 12, I was handed Dragonsong, a rite of passage in Casa Dunne. We’re voracious readers and we bounce between genres like crazy, and used bookstores are our Kryptonite. So the two of us unleashed on the book fair?

We should’ve brought rolling luggage or a shopping cart, is all I’m saying. A lot of people did, too! Next year, we’ll be better prepared, I swear.

It's a little blurry because I just get so many excited with that many books, okay?
So here’s my haul from Friday, all prettily laid out. There are some authors I’ve been wanting to try, some old classics I love, a couple of biographies about people that interest me. I’m especially excited to read Special Agent, which is about FBI Agent Candice DeLong. I think it’ll come in handy with an adaptation I’m plotting (for the people that found me through, ahem, another name, think realllllly long title).

I also picked up a manual called The Art of Writing Made Simple: Professional Writing for Publication in Magazines, Newspapers,. Movies, Stage, Radio and T.V. The front cover says:
THE ART OF WRITING MADE SIMPLE is a wholly new departure, an effort to do what has not been done before in any publishing venture. It is our response to the needs of the countless thousands who “would like to write,” who have something of interest and significance to communicate, who are amateurs but would like to become professionals.
This is like the 50s version of Writing for Dummies.
Chapter 8 is THE NOVEL, and on the FIRST PAGE it talks about how the novel has really gone downhill, you guys. Of course, the book then scoffs at the notion within the same paragraph, but it’s why I picked it up at all.

Because it was written in 1956.

I don’t tend to read writing reference because badly written writing reference hinders more than it helps, in my opinion, so I probably won’t read this book. But it looks interesting. If anybody would like me to scan any of the pages, let me know.

I returned today to the book fair, fully expecting a gutted room with a few sad paperbacks in lonely piles on dusty tables, only to find the room swelling with a mass of humanity and still BOXES UPON BOXES of books left to sell. Picking through the romance novel section was great fun, especially as one of the volunteers was wearing a Supernatural T-shirt and we bonded over Jared Padalecki being both Dean and Sam in various shows. I walked away with two bags this time, one absolutely straining at the seams with romance novels (some for my grandmother when she moves into my parents’ house next month) and another tote bag threatening to remove my arm from my shoulders.

At one point, I saw the words Gail Carson Levine and I nearly danced.
Did I tell you I’m moving at the beginning of October? Yeah, this is a perfect time to go buy 50 pounds of books.

In other news, I worked up the nerve to mention to one of the librarians working the cashier’s line that I’ve got SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS coming out in November, and she invited me to check out a local author open house. I’ve sent inquiries, but it looks like I might be making an official author appearance. I’ll keep you updated.

In book news, I’ve got some edits due a week from tomorrow. My editor Rebecca and I are chugging right along to get the most polished book we can. I can’t tell you very much right now other than what the back copy says, but here in the next few weeks, hopefully there will be more I can release. Everything’s really starting to come together. I’m incredibly excited about it, but also incredibly nervous.

Come say hey in the comments! Or if you don’t want to leave a public comment, I’ve got a contact form now.

- Lexie

PS - If you want a better look at some of the books I purchased this weekend, I set up an entire Goodreads shelf. You can see my unashamed love for Mary Balogh and Susan Elizabeth Phillips.



22 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. SO MANY BOOKS. I need to count the ones I bought today because there are a lot of them and I'm pretty sure only one of the authors is male. Whoops. MISANDRY.

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  2. I CAN POST NOW.

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    1. See? Aren't I nice to you?

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    2. If only you had done that before you posted. :P

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    3. My niceness only goes so far, Maximus.

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  3. SO MUCH PRETTY. SO MANY BOOKS. I Like :)

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    1. I swear, there were so many times where I would see a book and snatch it, then stick it in my bag and look around, all, MINE. THIS IS MINE. THIS IS NOBODY'S ELSE. MINE.

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  4. Oh God, pure pleasure overload���� :-D
    I'm moving myself in Oct/Nov and I'm doing a clear out of books now. But still buying new ones.

    Maybe if I convert one of the bedrooms and let guests sleep on the couch I could make it work.....

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    1. I envy you that you're at a point in your life where you HAVE a guest bedroom. My sister and I (we live together and work at the same place, actually) just have the two-bedroom place. But I think in the new place, we're going to look for something with a slightly better layout. I want an office like burning. One of my projects for the new place is that I am going to build myself a gigantic whiteboard for plotting purposes, and I want ample wallspace for that.

      But I am aaaaaaalllllll for your library as opposed to guest bedrooms idea. ;)

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    2. I'm so dedicated to the library idea that I'm actually planning on using the bigger bedroom as a library/office. My family (close and extended) think I'm nuts.
      But I've worked long enough to finally afford the luxury and the fun of this, so I'm finally ready to do it. I wish you both the best in your own move :)

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    3. Dude, library/offices are where it's at. I've decided I need some new shelves, too. I have this old entertainment center that's doubling as shelves, but it's ugly and it needs to go. And hey, as they say on one of my favorite shows, Treat Yo Self. ;)

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    4. I've done this. The bigger bedroom (by far) has bookshelves and an office while a bed and a couple of dressers are crammed into the smaller one. Priorities.

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    5. Neil, I am jealous of that setup. Not that I don't love having my books within arms' reach of my bed, but an office/library just makes me drool with jealousy. ;)

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  5. Books are probably the heaviest things (for their size) I have to move around for work. Cause when a set has a book shelf, you can't really do anything besides get a shit ton of books to fill it. And it always takes more books than you think.

    Plus if we bring something into a set, then we eventually have to take it out later. So boxing and unboxing books can be the bane of my existence sometimes. (Pro tip: ALWAYS use small boxes. Cause if you pack a large box to the brim with books, you won't be able to lift it.)

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    1. I worked as a set dresser on a couple of commercials and yeah, I'm not surprised about any of that. I wonder how many set dressers just go to these book fairs and grab entire boxes (they were $10 for a box of books today) and hit up garage sales and the like. I can imagine you're always on point when you dress sets like that.

      And definitely agree with you about the small boxes. I actually tend to pack my books into my rolling luggage. It sucks to get up and down stairs, but it's great for the straightaways.

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    2. Yeah, thrift stores, and set sales (when other productions are getting rid of all their stuff) mostly. Sometimes you can rent stacks from a prop house, but that can get a little tricky with returning them. For the job I just finished I went to this set sale where I had to pick up like 35 boxes of books. Then we used them at two locations, so lots of boxing and unboxing and hoping we didn't lose any of the boxes in the interim.

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    3. I had no idea set sales were a thing, but that totally makes sense. **scribbles this down** I think, when Max and I return to Curtain Call, we're gonna have to hit you up for lingo and things like that. Also, with all of the books left over at the book fair today, I'm pretttty sure that if you're that good at unboxing and boxing books (what a joy, right?), my librarians may want to hire you for the day. ;)

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  6. I'm glad you found such treasures! Those books sales are a lot of work (I know this from personal experience), so it's nice to know how much people enjoy them. May the library gods smile upon you always.

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    1. They had *so many* volunteers working, too, and when I say working, I mean they were just scrambling. It was all kinds of madness, I salute anybody who's been through that! Especially you. ;)

      The library gods have been good to me! I wish the editing gods would share the love, too.

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  7. OMG books. I can't believe I missed the St. Louis book fair this year, when I could actually go (it's always the same weekend as an art fair, but they moved the art fair this year...and I was so relieved to not have to go to the art fair that I completely forgot about books. Crazy, I know)

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    1. I thought I had already replied to this, but I think blogger ate it. So I must throw myself at your feet and beg you to forgive me for not being a better friend and texting you pictures from the actual fair. I am the worst. And I don't blame you. Art fairs are a lot of work. :)

      Next year, if it doesn't coincide with an art fair—you, me, giant shopping cart? My goal is to someday have a collection of books as big as yours, I'd better get started. :)

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Please keep it PG. My mom reads this blog.