Wildebeeste migrate, lemmings leap off cliffs and I rush madly to Book Sales. The irresistible urge is imprinted in my DNA, I swear! Can’t stop myself. And this weekend, I’m so glad I succumbed to the urge.
A group of Cape Town Book Sellers rented two floors of exhibition space at the V & A Waterfront and gave us, the book reading, book buying public a huge treat: The Cape Town Book Sale. Yes folks: a real, genuine book sale. Brand new stock, no mangled remainders. Just books, glorious books, in every direction. There must have been literally thousands of them. You name it, the books were there. Kids’ books, cookery books, coffee table books, contemporary novels, literary novels, blockbusters, thrillers, biographies – I think the last time I saw so many books on sale was in the magnificent Kinokunia Bookstore in Sydney. And I have to confess that 14 years later, I still have orgasmic dreams about that Aladdin’s cave of delights ….
The prices were jaw-droppingly brilliant: R50 for a paperback; R70 for a hardback. Normally we have to grudgingly part with between R200 and R300 to buy a paperback novel. And don’t talk to me about hardcovers. Shudder.
I was almost #1 through the doors, sprinting briskly towards the far end to work my way systematically backwards through the heaving hordes. Because I’m little I need to avoid crowds. I tend to get trodden on. South Africa is full of braai en boerewors* stalwart men (and women, too I must add, in all fairness).
After two and a half hours I staggered triumphantly back to my car, clutching two modern novels, and five Craig Johnson Longmire novels for the modest total of R350-00. Unheard of : R350 is often the price of one book, never mind seven! Reader’s Victory of note!
The novels have long been on my Wishlist. I’ve wanted to explore Portuguese writer Clarice Lispector, and found one of her novels. Recently I read Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life so I snapped up her first book The People in the Trees. And the cowboy books? I can see your raised eyebrows from here. Well – I grew up on black and white spaghetti Westerns and Zane Grey: what can I say? I told you in my About Page that I have eclectic reading tastes. Now do you believe me?
So: don’t phone, text or e-mail me for a while. It’s obvious – I’ll be reading!
*barbecues and spicy sausages