Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sixteen Year Tradition Observed Today

Today is BookFest! I know I write about this annually, but it is one of the BEST days of the year!

In 1994, my friend, Kevin, and I were in Powell's. It was in early September and we were both lamenting the fact that we couldn't buy enough books to keep us happy. We had decided that we could live in Powell's if necessary and then we started talking about what it would be like to spend as much money on books as we wanted - guilt-free. A plan was hatched - we would save $10/month for a year and come back to Powell's together and spend it ALL!

In September 1995, I was starting back to school, but we had saved our money and went to Powell's for the first great BookFest. It took us HOURS to select our special books. We actually closed the place - the Powell's workers had to usher us out. Many traditions were born on that day. After we are done, we usually have dinner together - eagerly anticipating the book-sharing, but also dragging it out a little. Then we go to Kevin's place and show our selections. We figure out who is closest to the $$ total without going over, who has the most eclectic grouping of books, who broke out of the mold, who has the most beautiful book cover, which book of the other person's is our favorite. We check to see if either of us bought the same book (that has happened a few times) or if one of the other person's books had been on the list but didn't make the cut or if we KNEW the other person would buy a particular item.

The next year, we changed the months so that we could have the summer to read. After that first year, we have done either June or July buying which, I think, was a good decision. The dollar amount also changes from year to year. The highest amount was either our 5 year or 10 year anniversary when we saved $50/month ($600!! which is a LOT of money to spend on books - let me tell you!). The restaurants we choose have changed periodically (the first one is the most frequented so far - Hunan Restaurant downtown). I love that Kevin is still willing to share this special and fun tradition with me after 16 years. We have toyed with stopping, but I think we will probably go until the 20 year mark now...then after that, who knows?

People often ask if they can join us. The answer is NO. This is our day. But you can do your own BookFest if you want. :)

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