Library Book Sale

I recently went to the local library book sale. It occupied a full-sized exhibition hall at the local arena, rows and rows of tables littered with books of every kind imaginable.

It was a bit daunting.

All those books, they sat as testaments to mass production. Heavy tomes and ragged paperbacks covered every topic under the sun. Several tables held a myriad of variations of romances, with its many ins and outs. Reference book after reference book after opinion book littered a whole row. Spy novels lurked amongst the others but couldn’t go unnoticed for their sheer number. My mouth watered at the cooking books, and my mind reeled at the scientific works. Sci-fi and fantasy were thick as thieves, conspiring to conquer nearly half the available space.

How could I ever hope to write anything that could add something original and worthwhile to this mountain of literary effort?

I shook my head and began to peruse, shamed by my own vain hope. Flipping through and tossing volume after volume aside, realization dawned.
It was a bit inspiring.

Of all that pulpy mass, most of it was absolute drivel. The crap that some people get published boggled my mind. There was a book about how physical education was failing our kids. All those romances were basically the same story, with slight variations on the naughty bits. If these books were so great, why were they being sold for $.25 each? This was no sea of literary greatness, but a miasma of poor judgment in publication.

Aha, if I can just keep working at it, earnestly striving to tell my story, in my way, and produce something even halfway decent, odds are actually fairly good I could be as published as these other sad sacks.

Best of luck to us all, and keep chasing that dream!

9 comments Posted 2010-04-29 Author: THX 0477


  • Luke Nicolaou

    Yay!! There is hope for me yet!! The only fear is ending up like one of those useless pieces of drivel.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    I have been through this exact same sentiment about a million times.

  • Anonymuncule

    It’s amazing. Because you can read pure shit printed on a paperback binding and think “I could do that, repeatedly.” But you read the great novels that affect the rest of your life and marvel at what it took to create them.

  • shadowlight

    I have experienced this as well. It does give hope to those of us who aspire to be published that we too can reach that goal (though not necessarily that of ending up in the $. 25 table). Although most, if not everything that has been or is being written has been done before, we are each unique and will bring our own individual ‘spin’ and vision to the stories we tell. No one will tell the same story exactly the same way twice. That too, gives hope.

  • blusparrow (LoA)

    thanks thx =) that was very inspiring

  • OrangeOreos (LoA)

    I love library book sales. I always aim for the classics.

  • Jae

    This was very encouraging to read. Everyone has a story to share, while we writers happen to have an extra portion inside us. The trick is just getting it out.

  • Yunalasca

    Very nice, and quite inspiring. I’m new to the whole Ficly’s community, so its nice to read something so inspiring at this early date.
    It gives me hope that I too might get work published, if only to have it end up being sold for $.25.

  • Tad Winslow

    Great write up Thx. It seems like the only standard to getting published is prognosticated on how well it will sell or, as you mentioned, poor judgement on the publishers behalf.