When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.
We at The American Catholic like to keep an eye, frequently jaundiced, on popular culture. One recent development that I enthusiastically endorse are videos posted by individuals on Youtube discussing “book hauls”, books that they have recently purchased. I find this heartening. I have always regarded myself as a hopeless book addict, and now I learn that my addiction is socially acceptable, perhaps even cutting edge! This post will therefore tell you about a book haul I made yesterday, but first a bit of background information.
When I was growing up in Paris, Illinois, my mother and father used to give me and my brother a dollar each as our allowance. (Considering that between them my parents brought home about a $100.00 a week, I thought the allowance was rather generous. ) My parents expected us to clean the house each day before school, to do the dishes and to run to the grocery store to pick up items during the week. It was emphasized to us that the allowances were not payment for our work. We worked at our chores because we were members of the family, and our parents gave us our allowances because we were members of the family.
You could do a lot with a dollar when you were a kid in the sixties. Comic books cost 12 cents, cokes were a dime, candy could be purchased for a nickel to a dime. However, I spent a fair part of my money at the local Goodwill. Paris did not have a bookstore, but the Goodwill had a bookcase with used paperbacks and hardbacks. The paperbacks were a nickel and the hardbacks were a dime. New used books came in fairly frequently. Most Saturday mornings I would go into the Goodwill and search through the books. It was there I first made the acquaintance of Plato, Aristotle and Aristophanes. On one memorable day, the divine Dante came my way for the first time with a paperback copy of Purgatorio, and a “new life” began for me. History books were plentiful, especially on the Civil War and World War II and I gobbled them up. Thus I began my personal library, and I have some of those books to this day. And so my
shameful addiction devotion to purchasing mass quantities of books as cheaply as I can began.