What an author thinks when she finds her own book in the stacks at the library book sale

Having donated 27 books to the Friends of the Library book sale, I felt entitled to shop it today and find 27 new books to take home and enjoy.

The place was a madhouse, but that’s OK. It’s great that people like to read. In this day and age when so many people are fuming (usually on Facebook, by the way) about other people with microscopic attention spans being unhealthily attached to their smart phones, it’s nice to see hungry readers looking for new treats to devour. Hey, I’m one of them! I found 12 delicious books to enjoy (including a memoir by the woman who played Marcia, Marcia, Marcia Brady and Stephen Hawking’s illustrated The Universe in a Nutshell — two titles for which I probably would never have paid retail).

As I was inconspicuously browsing the fiction tables, I spied my own memoir, The Percussionist’s Wife.

Wait a minute! What was my book doing in fiction, first of all and second of all, on sale for 50 cents?!

Yes, my first thought was of greed.

And I’ll confess my second thought was feeling hurt. Why would someone give away my awesome book to the Friends of the Library?!

Of course, as I noted, I just gave 27 books to the Friends of the Library. Books I loved. Big, beautiful memoirs/biographies of Steve Jobs and Brooke Shields. Fantastic reads by Tina Fey and Anne Panning. Bestsellers like Gone Girl and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 

Why? Because I loved those books, and I needed space in my bookshelves to make room for more books to love, and I wanted a tax write-off for donating them, and I wanted to help the library which unceasingly encourages reading and book clubs, and I wanted other people to enjoy the books I loved.

So why be hurt to find my book among other people’s cast-offs, right? Someone loved my book and wanted to help the library, too, right?

That’s what Mom said when I lamented my book sale discovery to her. And Mom is always right.

So it was a good thing to find my book at the library book sale.

I thought about moving it to the non-fiction table, but I didn’t want to call attention to it or myself. OK, yes, I briefly toyed with the idea of holding up my book and announcing to everyone present that I had penned it and it was a fabulous deal for only 50 cents and how could it still be here a whole hour after the sale started, but I didn’t do that. I couldn’t resist, however, nestling it next to The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve in hopes of having some of its Oprah’s Book Club shine rub off on my title.


Hey, there’s still time to voice your opinion on the cover of my newest book due out in May, How to Look Hot & Feel Amazing in Your 40s: The 21-Day Age-Defying Diet, Exercise & Everything Plan. Click here to see the three options I’m weighing. Comment by April 14, and one of the lucky commenters will get a signed color copy for free!


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