Beware the book fair!

I have a hard enough time getting in and out of the book store without buying something. Books have a siren song all their own. But several times a year the company I work for turns a large conference room over to a mobile book fair. That’s dirty pool!

Last time it actually came in somewhat handy. It was about a month before Christmas, and we were able to do some of our shopping there. But they came back last week. I took a few minutes to wander through and see what they have. My expectations were low–they have a lot of books, but most of them are not exactly best-sellers.

But they did have one book in paperback that I’ve been hearing about for over a year now as “the” hot title. I’ve been meaning to read it, but it’s always checked out at the library–all two-dozen copies! I finally decided if I was ever going to read it I’d just have to buy it. So the temptation was high when I saw it at the book fair.

Then there was the atlas. Somewhere in my wicked childhood I acquired a love of reference books, especially maps. And here was a large, detailed, nearly current atlas for only $10. We have a small atlas already, but let’s just say you won’t find most Balkan nations in it. We could use a more up-to-date version. It’s educational! It’s inexpensive!

I managed to drag myself out without buying either book. I really try not to be an impulse buyer. I went back to my desk, and on a break I looked up both books online to see what their prices were. Dang! they were actually cheaper at our little book fair!

And unlike online or even at my favorite book store, I wouldn’t have to go out of my way or wait to own them. They were just down the hall. Calling…

I delayed. Perhaps if I waited long enough someone else would buy them and I wouldn’t have to. Didn’t work. I even forgot to see when the fair ended and went back after they were supposed to close. They were still open. I caved. I now own both books.

I showed them to my family when I got home. The atlas is a hit. I am a minor hero. But that was this time. I got lucky. And the book fair will be back…someday…probably when my will-power is weak. Plus they’ve upped the stakes. They have a new policy: buy over $100 and you can get a free item.

Have they no decency!

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