Book-mania in San Francisco

There’s an event here in San Francisco each year that makes my heart race. It’s the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Big Book Sale. SFPL Big Book Sale  There are over 500,000 donated books and media for sale and all proceeds go to the San Francisco Public Library. All items are priced from $1-$3. This will be my 14th year going. I have a warning though, the first year I went, I caught something called book-mania and came home with six shopping bags full of books

How to identify book-mania.

For me, the symptoms of book-mania reappear about a month before the Big Book Sale. When I start seeing the sale posters around town with images of towers of toppling tomes and red shopping carts racing through the rivers of reads, I get that tickle in my ears and a tightening in my throat. 

I then irrationally make a detailed list of books I want to find at the sale, even though I know full-well it will be very, very hard to do in the vast room of books. Especially, while dodging the flailing arms and jabbing elbows of the other sufferers of book-mania.

I know I have full blown book-mania when I stay up late and compulsively look through all my lovely books, caress them, dust them, and reorganize them in a different way from the previous year.

The worst part of the book-mania is feeling a total downer knowing the book sale is weeks away. I can treat this book-pression by buying a few new books to hold me over until the sale actually happens. These places are good for a fix. The Reader’s Bookstore , Green Apple Books , Russian Hill Bookstore .

There is no cure for book-mania!

Here is a small collection of vintage “affirmation” books that I have found at past sales that help me through the hard times.  They are a hoot!img_3369 Title page reads, A Collection of Mirth-Provoking Stories for all Occasions and ” If ye canna laugh, ye micht as well be dead”. No author named. Published by George W. Jacobs and Co. 1914 (?)img_3370I want to find the other volumes that go with this. They are titled, That Reminds Me and That Reminds me Again. Should be a riot!img_3371Pat Barnes was the director and announcer of the radio station WHT in Chicago in the 1920s. The collection of “pick-ups” in this book was compiled for his many adoring fans who wanted a printed record of his uplifting presentations. Published in1927.img_3372The rounded corners and deep embossing of the cover art, makes this one of my favorite books to hold and read.img_3373This book is by Margaret Fishback, a popular American writer and reputed to be the highest paid female copywriter in the 1930s, is supposed to make you feel better because you’re reading really sad poems and your life must be better than that.  More about Margaret Fishback.  E.P. Dutton and Co. Inc., New York, 1932.img_3374Underwear! Love it.img_3375I was amazed to see that this book is from 1931. I thought it was a 1970s book because of the rainbow. Title page says, ” This little book aims to present some practical philosophy by which to live and prosper”. From Sather Gate Book Shop, Berkeley, California, 1931.

img_3377I like the brevity of each idea in this book. There must be over 700 of these little tidbits for you to choose from.

Thanks for reading!

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Empress Norma

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