In my younger days I wrote a weekly, family-oriented column for the newspaper where I worked. My stories were self-deprecating and unapologetic, funny and always true (albeit a little exaggerated at times).
I once confessed that I was one those guys frantically roaming the aisles at the local pharmacy at 5:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day. We didn’t have cell phones so I was already the butt of many red-rose jokes at the three sold-out florists in town.
I was also a Christmas Procrastinator, and though my immediate family was well-claused each year my siblings and others opened many a can of mixed nuts and coffee cups filled with strawberry nougat candies.
All of that changed one year when a friend coerced me into our public library’s book sale. I had no aversion; I just never made time for it. It was an annual event and the tables of books, cassettes and VHS tapes covered the floor of a convention center.
On my way to the baseball books I passed a section of general interest, coffee table-style books. And it hit me. I was standing knee-deep in a trove of nostalgic, sentimental treasures for family and friends. I loaded up, and visiting the sale each year became tradition. Though they are difficult to find nowadays, I once filled my bag with a dozen of those crusty, old yearbooks the encyclopedia companies made. I found yearbooks for every person’s birth year. Those were great birthday presents.
The books you search for and hand-pick are highly personal gifts and show a lot of effort. Add a penned note inside the cover and you make a memory. This past Christmas I gave someone special an aged and well-worn copy of the Grinch. Never mind that I paid a dollar for it at the Friends of the Denton Public Libraries book sale. It was a very special gift.
Did I mention that the Friends’ next quarterly book sale is this Saturday, Feb. 4, beginning at 10 a.m.? Almost everything in the sale costs 50 cents or a dollar. And as the staff member who inspects every donation to the library, I am confident telling you there are some treasures in there. Don’t forget, Valentine’s Day is coming up in 10 or 11 days, sometime around then. You should stop by the sale at North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust, on Saturday to say hello.
NORTH BRANCH LIBRARY