Books for a bibliophile

It looked like a full treasure chest, and I wanted the treasure. “How much are the books in that plastic tote?” I asked the clerk of the resale shop. He named a price that left me salivating. “Great! I’ll go look.”

I began sorting through the hundreds of children’s books: a mother lode of riches for a bibliophile like me. I definitely needed all the books in that tote. I have plenty of grandchildren, and my bookshelves go through a constant cycle of gather and distribute.

As a bibliophile I find plenty of ways to justify buying more books. Just ask my husband who recently encountered five heavy boxes of books filling the trunk of my car and the back seat. They came from the church estate sale. He sighed. He had already hauled out three or four boxes of books the day before. Well, he didn’t haul out the boxes, he sorted and repackaged the books into more portable boxes.

I don’t usually bring home that many books. I made an exception at the church estate sale. Curiosity had pulled me into the church. I didn’t need a thing as far as I knew, but I had time and always enjoy looking.

The pews and church furniture did not call my name. Up the stairs and around the corner I scanned the tables of miscellaneous church detritus and discovered a collection of oversize classroom story books featuring Bible Characters, “these would be great for Love Packages,” I murmured.

Love Packages, located in Butler, Illinois, collects new and used Christian literature and all the Bibles they can to ship to churches and Christians in third world countries which use English. Discovering Love Packages gave me another great excuse to buy more books at yard sales.

So a whole church with leftover books and Bibles at least need a quick perusal. Pulling up a chair, I sat down in front of the bookshelf in the nursery. I stacked up little books featuring Bible characters for Love Packages and half a dozen “Magic School Bus” books for my granddaughter as well as other books.

Rather than try to lift the boxes, I asked the sale manager, “Can someone carry these books downstairs for me?”

“Yes, just a bit.” He was already moving furniture for someone else. While waiting, I walked over to the church library with its hundreds of books, hymns and Bibles on shelves and tables. I began sorting through the books looking for hidden Bibles. A second and third box of books joined the first for the trip downstairs.

When I checked out, I saw a table with several stacks of Bibles, “I want all of them, if I can.”

I could and did. I considered an unused set of hymnals and called Love Packages, “Can you use hymnals from this church sale?”

“No, but we need Bibles.” he said.

“Right, I’ll look,” I promised, but it was the next day before I returned.

“I’m looking for Bibles,” I said to the helper.

“Someone came and bought all he could find. You might look in the pastor’s office.”

Although I had already been in the pastor’s office, I went anyway and with fresh eyes I pulled another box of Bibles from the shelves.

Back in the library I met another bibliophile, “what are you looking for?”

“I don’t know. I just like to look. I might find something,” she said.

Perhaps she did. I know I did. Two hours later the guys toted five boxes to my car. We now have 12 boxes ready for Love Packages and probably more to come during the coming second half of the sale.