Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Kingdom for a Cart

Okay, so, imagine carrying two plastic shopping baskets full of books around a crowded and warm store for five hours. FULL OF BOOKS.  Books are heavy. There's no two ways about it.  Toting them around, setting them down so that you can grab something off the shelf, working your way through the aisles full of jostling, cell-phone-using, gossiping, reading, sitting, standing in clumps people in the heat of the day is not that fun.

A few years ago, Powell's Bookstore invested in some shopping carts that look something like this:
The website says to "enquire" about the product and does not list a price. They can't be THAT expensive, can they? Unless, of course, you have to buy in quantity and pay for the shipping from China. Ha!

This cart has saved my life on more than one occasion.  The first year they had them, there were a bunch and both Kevin and I grabbed one and made short work of the whole endeavor as we didn't have to stop every few minutes to return our arms into the sockets.  The next year, there were only a few, but we still got them. Last year, I got one and Kevin (poor thing) did not. I think Kevin asked about them and the employee said there were only 4 left.

This year, as I was shopping, I spotted one in the early part of BookFest, but I wasn't willing to do more than lurk for a few minutes before giving up the ghost. A couple of hours later, I went back to the location where I have the most luck finding a cart (yeah, I know you thought I was going to tell you where to go, but I'm not) and finally found a cart. It was such a relief to put those baskets in the cart and not have to deal with hands that are sore from holding the hard plastic handles and arms that are sore from carrying what feels like 50+ pounds of books around for several hours.

Once I was pretty close, I realized that I could sit in the coffee room and survey my  book-bounty and Kevin could take the cart around and look at stuff. I think sharing was definitely the way to go. If we find ourselves in a similar situation next year, at least I will know what to do. :)

The beauty of this 17-year tradition is that it is so much fun. We both have these little rituals and traditions that we honor and games we play. We have a certain order we do things in, we have different phases of the day. Today, we laughed so much we both got hoarse by the end of the evening.

All in all, a really spectacular day. The only thing we need to do now is buy carts to hold on standby for next year. :)

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