The semi-annual Friends of the Seattle Public Library book sale was this weekend. It is the one chance book lovers from across the city have to come together, push each other around, and generally act like jerks. Just goes to show what $1 for a hardcover will do to people.
To be honest, people were fairly well behaved, especially compared to my experience last year when several fights broke out. (not really) I did notice a lot of people with cell phones frantically punching in information. I assumed these people were resellers using services like Amazon to find out how much they could get for a particular book. There were several people with bar code scanners quickly checking the value of the multitude of books on sale. To me these people were not acting in the true spirit of the sale, which centers around filling your house with books even the library doesn’t want.
I did manage to pick up a book I came very close to buying earlier in the week, “Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story” by Harvey Pekar. He is the writer of the comic American Splendor which was made into a movie of the same name. He gave an interview/talk on Wednesday which I attended. Harvey seems like a nice guy and was very genuine.
The same cannot be said of the interviewer, a book critic for one of Seattle’s alternative newspapers. I sensed there was something not right about the guy when the woman seated next to me said “Oh, he’s soooo cute” when the critic walked on stage. His flippant and phony interview style only cemented my dislike. He struck me as just the kind of guy Pekar is constantly making fun of in his comics.