I’ve got lots of books. And Arty Party has lots of books. And we don’t want to take them to Tampa. We went through the garage and our piles of books and came up with some thirty to forty hardcovers we wanted to get rid of. Normally we take our don’t-wants to Goodwill, but because this load was books, we thought we’d go by the way of a book swap. I know, I’m getting rid of books and swapping them out for more. But I don’t keep paperbacks unless it’s something I’ll go back to and read several times, and I know most book swaps will credit you a quarter for a book and then sell you one for five bucks. So I thought if I handed in forty hardcovers, maybe I’d walk away with ten paperbacks. No.
The staff: a woman in her thirties, a woman in her sixties, a man in his fifties. None of them ever heard of White Stripes, Coldplay or Faith No More. Okay on the Faith No More. Okay on the White Stripes. But Coldplay? Not even when I mentioned the lead singer was married to Gwyneth Paltrow did they connect. (Actually, the guy knew about Coldplay. Let’s give pops some props) Then the old bit asks me why I’m unloading all these books. I tell her I’m moving cross-country to Florida and don’t want to travel with them. She makes a face like she just ate a butz sandwich and said she lived in Florida and hated it. Fool that I am, I ask where. “Tampa,” she says. I tell her I’m going to Tampa. More butz face. “Ugh, I HATED it there.” Yes, thank you for shitting on my new home. But rest assured while I’m airboating or lying on the beach or sitting center ice at St. Pete’s I’ll not think of your miserable existence in your fifty-cent book swap on the corner of Eastern and Warm Springs.
How the trade works: I get a credit of fifty dollars for my books. More than I was expecting. But here’s the catch, which I have never come across in all my years of book swapping: the credit is half of what you spend. In simple terms, I buy a book for ten bucks: five dollars cash, five dollars credit. So not only did I give them books, but now I have to give them fifty dollars for taking them if I ever want to redeem my credit. Yes, beautiful babies, welcome to fabulous Las Vegas.