The Auction

This is Part II of Susan and Caro’s adventure. Part 1 can be found here..

Knowing we had at least six months and possibly a year or even two before the space would be ready for the used book store gave us time to research and plan. Not that we found all the answers we were looking for; we were lulled by the sense that there was lots of time. Meanwhile, the local junior college set up an auction of excess items to benefit the scholarship fund.

This was a real country style auction, with one of the local farm auctioneers at the microphone. Everything was spread out in rows in the parking lot, and the sale included rejects from the computer labs, science rooms, offices and even some stray bits of sculpture. Also, two or three hundred chairs and desks, some beauty chairs from the cosmetology department, and all the bedding left behind in the dorms when the kids cleared out the last spring.

We went to look at the shelving they advertized, the furniture, and the books, since the library discards were to be in the sale. Turned out the shelves never even made it into the auction, which was a disappointment. However, we ended up with five great stools in the Toledo/UHL style, a stand alone bookcase the wind had knocked over, an oak card catalog stand with two 9-drawer units, and most of the books. Or, in other words, the auctioneer looked at us as we were loading the first boxes into our SUV, shook his head and said, “Why don’t I just hook up my truck and haul this flatbed out to your place?”

The books had been auctioned first as “choice” of 8 or 10 boxes, then choice again, and then what was left was offered in one lot. We got a lot of lots. Lots. The auctioneer was happy we were there. Nobody there wanted to lug those puppies back into the building. It was real nice of him to transport our haul.

Susan went off to rent a $30 a month storage unit while I started to pile all the other purchases in a convenient spot and then went to pay the lady in the auctioneer’s trailer. Since the bill was under a hundred dollars, we were doing okay on the budget but the physical expenditures ended up about killing us. Each box had to be re-packed into a box that could be stacked, and of course we looked for books to list right away as we did that. We only had about 48 hours to do this because the weather was going to change and Jim wanted his flatbed back. Of the hundred boxes of books, approximately 50 went to the Friends of the Library used book sale, about 40 ended up in the shed for the book store, and about five boxes went on-line. Five boxes of used math books and some damaged items hit the dumpster.

Several months later I was at an estate auction, staggering out of the back yard with a box of books about five pounds heavier than I should have been hauling. I met that auctioneer walking the other direction. He looked down at the box I was carrying and starts laughing like a loon. “More books? Didn’t you get enough last time?” he asked, and walked on shaking his head again.

We’re bookaholics. Everybody here knows that about us.

6 thoughts on “The Auction”

  1. It is obvious from this posting that some human beings have addictive personalities (myself included) and fortunately for those of us that are book-a-holics we have an outlet. Online sales and brick and mortar shops.

    Now if we could only get busy listing instead of going out and buying more books…

    Good luck with your endeavors!

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