Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Nerd Girl Nirvana

I wrote this post in April 2011 as a guest post for another blog. That blog went off the Internet, so I'm reposting it here.

This is the piece of nerdiness that I’ll own: I’m a bookworm. I keep a book in the bathroom so I can read while I’m brushing my teeth. If I could figure out how to take them in the shower with me, I would. I keep Banana Yoshimoto’s Kitchen in the kitchen; there are two bookshelves there, one for cookbooks and one to catch the overflow from the office and the dining room. A drawer in the bedroom is stuffed with all the magazines I want to keep forever.

The height of my nerd girl nirvana is the semi-annual book sale in the city where I grew up. I can’t go alone, though--I have to take my grandma. I have breakfast with her every Sunday, and she always lets me know when another sale is coming up. We can’t go on the day when they open the doors to the public on Saturday, though. We have to buy the special Friends of the Library pass to get into the Thursday pre-sale.

We have a pattern. First I have to find her a cart. Between the two of us, we’ll need it. Grandma brings a list every time, but I like to take my chances. We skip the CD, magazine and children’s book sections and go straight for the new (well, gently used) hardcover fiction. She finds mysteries and mainstream fiction there. If I’m lucky, I find something paranormal. Some of my lucky finds have been The Passage, The Sacred Book of the Werewolf and Vampyres of Hollywood.

After the new fiction, there’s a huge section of older fiction. Grandma takes her time through there; I eventually wander off to the romance novels. They get picked over early, even when we show up within the first two hours of the sale. (You don’t want to be there at the very beginning; too crowded.) On a good day I might find a paranormal or fantasy romance. An anthology with Laurell K. Hamilton or MaryJanice Davidson is always nice. 

Grandma likes to wander the nonfiction shelves; I give them a more passing glance, unless there‘s a topic I‘m deeply into that week. By this time I’ll have added five or six books to the cart. This will cost me about $2.50.

We split up once again while I look at the DVDs. There are still a few seasons of The Simpsons I don’t have on DVD yet, and I’m always hoping to run across those. Barring a Simpsons find, the best thing I can hope for off the neatly alphabetized DVD shelf is a Christian Bale movie I don’t yet own. Okay, so I’ll admit to these two strains of nerdcraft as well: I can quote Simpsons characters for hours on end, and I have a squealing schoolgirl crush on Christian Bale. I’ll even watch Newsies.

After we pay for our reasonably-priced purchases, we load them into Grandma’s fold-up bookbag on wheels. At her house, we’ll separate hers from mine. On our way to the car, we might stop and look at the carts of free books outside. We don’t like to stand outside in bad weather, though. Besides, we’ve already had enough fun to last us until the next book sale.

Erin O’Riordan is a cool erotica writer, like Anais Nin, until you put a book in front of her and turn her into a drooling geek. 

Since I wrote this, Irish granny has had breathing problems and spends less and less time away from her house. We no longer go to the book sales together. In fact, she no longer gives me a list of books to get for her. Her eyesight has also gotten worse, and she doesn't spend a lot of time reading anymore. This is a scan of our last book list.

The 2012 book by Bob Woodward is actually called The Price of Politics, despite what my side note says. 


Wren Doloro said...

Hey I am sorry to hear about your granny. I have a grandmother who also loved to take me to the yearly booksale. I don't know how you get out of there without more books! I usually buy the bag full for $20. I also, have a book problem. Currently it is where to put the shelves in my new apartment!

Erin O'Riordan said...

I'm not looking forward to the day (if it ever comes) when I downsize my house. I'll have the hardest time whittling down my book collection!