The New York Times reported yesterday that Barnes and Noble is planning on closing 30 percent of their stores. I think it's the end of the coffee shop bookstore. This makes me sad. Mostly because I love shopping at bookstores. But honestly, I have to admit that once our local bookstore closed many years ago, I didn't drive up to the huge shopping complex to do most of my book finding -- I went to the library. It comes in particularly helpful as a mother with a child who loves to be read to. Plus, I never have buyer's remorse. Free is good.
However, there is something that goes on in the CU area each February that I love. I treat it like a birthday present to myself. The Children's Book Center at the University of Illinois has a sale of all of the books they've gotten in over the year. It's awesome. All of the books are at a discounted price $2 for paperbacks and $5 for hardbacks. I take one canvas bag over, which, when full, is usually around $75 worth of children's books. If you have kids or grandkids, it's a great way to fill your bookshelves.
The trick is that it used to be free to go, but a few years ago to control the crowds of libraries, reading tutors and schools coming to get cheap books they had to start limited the number of people there (it also prevents a 2-hour wait outside the building). Anyway, it's now $20 per person to get in (and don't take your children). But I find it worth the $20.
I e-mailed in my reservation yesterday, got a confirmation and have the check in the mail today to hold my spot. The sale is from 1-4 on Sunday, Feb. 17. Then, whatever is left over is open to the general public (at no admission cost) starting that Monday and continuing through Wednesday.