Every year, four out of the seven University of Toronto St. George campus colleges host book sales in support of each college’s respective library and programming. Unfortunate for me, up until about three minutes ago, I only ever knew about the Trinity College and Victoria College sales. A quick google-fu has shown me the light and left me feeling disappointed in having missed three out of four possible book sales over the last number of weeks.
Whatever. It’s fine. It’s not like I realistically have room for an additional 567 books right now, anyhow. Bringing home that many extra books would only mean having to throw out our bed or couch or something. Actually, hey, that’s not a bad idea. We could make a bed and couch out of books! That would be a neat DIY, right? Right?
Okay. Maybe not.
I’ve been to the Trinity College book sale three out of the last four years. On a whim, four years ago, while living in Toronto, I decided to give the book sale a chance and have been unable to tear myself away ever since. Every year, I mark the new dates down on my calendar and excitedly count down to the big book sale weekend, as though I were five years old and waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Nevermind that I also excitedly wait for Christmas like that to this day. That only proves that somewhere, deep down, I am mostly just a child in an adult’s body.
HOWEVER! How can you NOT be excited for these University book sales?! One year, I spent $50 and left the sale with four bags of books! $50! FOUR bags of books!
This year, I spent $33 for 13 books. A girlfriend of mine, who I insisted come with me, picked up something like 6 hardcovers, as well as a selection of paperbacks, for around $40.
Since first attending the sale four years ago, I’ve been able to pad my classics collection, increase my plays and poetry, add to my ever growing pile of children’s books, as well as pick up more current novels that I had been holding out on purchasing new.
Sure, as much as I could rush out to a used book store and find myself some bargains, I think part of it is the thrill of the hunt in an old, historic building with creaky wooden floors and beautiful architecture. You never know what you’re going to find with the selection varying wildly year to year. Each year, I leave with an entirely different type of purchase.
Plus, each year kind of has its own so-called adventure associated with it. The first year, not knowing what to expect, I found myself having to lug a couple of very heavy bags of books back home with me on the subway, and awkwardly walking them back to my apartment. The next year, post sale, I had my hair cut downtown where the hairdresser spent an hour hitting on me as I drank red wine. This year, we followed up our book binge with cheap eats and browsing at IKEA.
Also, getting caught up looking at toilet stall art that expands into an entire stall of philosophical discussions on humanity and love, and reading it.
… only in a university washroom.