Friday, May 30, 2014

Good Will University

I'm getting all my reading material from Good Will. So far this year I've gotten "Reinventing Japan" by Ian Buruma, deTocqueville's "Democracy in America", "Benjamin Disraeli" by Adam Kirsch, "The Sea Wolf" by Jack London, a collection of Moliere's comedies, and a lot of books so forgettable I've already forgotten them. The usual sludge.
I love our library. It's hard to find a library that isn't better than nothing, and mine definitely is. But the downstairs near the entrance is given over to DVDs and children's books. The computer software which searches the holdings of all Delaware libraries is clumsy and hard to use. The adult books are upstairs in the back of the building, involving a bit of a hike. Also, nobody reads the shelves to see if any books are out of order, and plenty are.
But the Good Will is a win/win situation. I pay a dollar, sometimes two, per book, and when done pass them on to my daughter if she is interested. She ultimately sells them at her library's book sale.
The ones she doesn't want are donated to the AAUW annual book sale. I get an itemized receipt--usually a dollar per book-- to take off my income tax. Then somebody takes them home and reads them.
The method is perfect for a dabbler like me. I'm not necessarily looking for anything specific but am interested in anything not involving math or economics. I like history and there's a lot of history out there.


Dick Stanley said...

My retailer friends say Good Will is one of the richest outfits around considering they get all their merchandise for free and then put a price on it. Hereabouts they currently have a "sale" on 25-year-old tube TVs, as people finally move on to flat screens.

miriam said...

Our local Good Will is so hoity toity they no longer accept old tvs, computers, or printers.

Of course it's a wealthy organization. But no-one has to buy there, do they?

Mr Charm and I were enthusiastic customers while we lived on a graduate student's stipend. After that, not so much.

I like to buy books there because I avoid the wearisome (to me) task of rounding up and returning my library books. I also enjoy the serendipity of finding good books among the dreck. And believe me, the library has plenty of dreck too. Mostly dreck, in fact.

I speak as one who was responsible for selecting library books for purchase.

Dick Stanley said...

So you were the dreck meister? No payoff? They pay the book and record stores to display their junk.

miriam said...

I think I have minimum influence on anyone, ewcept a select few.