When I got my royalties in the bank from Paypal, I headed to 2nd & Charles Friday for their Cinco de Mayo sale. They had all kids' book on sale over the weekend, Buy 5 Get 5 Free. As my funds were limited, I only made it through half the first aisle (one side): the bargain shelves, and A-C. But, even with those limited titles, I found 34 books I wanted to get for All Hallow's Read, including spare copies of Clive Barker's The Thief of Always, Avi's The Man Who Was Poe, and Bill Britain's The Wish Giver.
With those 34 books in my bag, I got my store credit from trades: a measly $5 and change. D'oh! That, and a $5 bill and $19 (even) in the bank was all I had, and I also needed a Mother's Day gift for my mom (I found a Maxine book called Dear Crabby, which had no writing in it and was in great gift-giving condition). With those limits, I had to put back a whopping 14 books, bringing my A.H.R. purchase count to 20. I put back the spare copies of Thief of Always and The Man Who Was Poe, but kept The Wish Giver because there's no way I'm giving away mine.
Anyway, I picked up 20 kids' books in that sale: The Wish Giver, a Hagar the Horrible comic collection, The Dark is Rising, The Restless Dead, The Wereling: Resurrection, Horror High: Mr. Popularity, The Best Ghost Stories Ever, The Mystery of Monster Mountain, The Dark-Thirty, The Sixth Sense: Secrets from Beyond, two History Channel Presents Haunted History books, The Vampire on the Farm, No More Magic, The Supernaturalist, Strange Happenings, Real Vampires, Horror Show: Murder Comes to Life, Great Ghosts, and The Black Cauldron.
I also got a couple A.H.R. titles out of their free bin: an omnibus featuring the first two books in the YA Wicked series and a Goosebumps book; as well as a few free books for me: a library-bound copy of Stephen King's Desperation, a collection of Hemingway's short stories, Benjamin Franklin's autobiography, Sign Spotting III, and a B.P.R.D. novel. If I read the last one before Halloween, I may add it to the A.H.R. box, if it's appropriate.
As you may have noticed, I picked up some books that are in the middle of a series without realizing it! I accidentally picked up the third book in the Wereling trilogy (it was the only one in that series that they had) and The Black Cauldron (I figured the Disney movie was based on it as a standalone story, but it turns out that it's like the fifth book in a series), but I read the author's intro in The Black Cauldron, and it says that it expands on stuff only hinted at in the earlier books, which makes it like a standalone... so I planned to read that one before October…
However… yesterday (Sunday), I went back to 2nd & Charles even though I’d wanted to go to The Book Tavern, where I have some store credit. I bummed a $10 bill and got 10 more books, again taking advantage of the Buy 5 Get 5 sale. It took all $10, but I found The Book of Three, which is the first book in that Black Cauldron series. Yay!
I also found a nice-looking copy of Nighty-Nightmare from the Bunnicula series, which I planned to take for my own collection and slip my old raggedy copy into the A.H.R. box. In addition to those two, I found a Wizards of Waverly Place book, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (from the Harry Potter series), two Universal Monsters novels, Still More Tales for The Midnight Hour, What the Dickens, and Roald Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.
I started reading a story in the Dahl book right away, called “Lucky Break: How I Became a Fiction Writer.” It was awesome. I started it as soon as I read the table of contents when I got home. I took a break to look for it online, as I wanted to share it on my Facebook author page, but I went back to it after supper. I knew I needed to exercise, so I hit the stationary bike and finished the story at the same time. I lost track of time and pedaled for 25 minutes, burning 69 calories! I felt rather accomplished for that.
Anyway, after getting those 30 books over the weekend, I have even more books in my A.H.R. box I'd like to read before Halloween, but time will tell whether I actually finish them all before it's time to give them away. When I got home with my purchases yesterday, I took out 27 books I want to read, and arranged the remaining A.H.R. books in the big box I used last year (which was already close to full with books I'd picked up since October at The Book Tavern, Goodwill, and the library). It is now VERY full (I just can close the lid) even after taking out nearly 30 books, which leads me to believe that I may be done gathering AHR books for this year. I really should be, as I have 20 3rd grade-level books about bats (found those in the free bin a couple days after last Halloween), half a dozen little kids' picture books, and a stack of Goosebumps and Harry Potter books (1-4, plus Harry’s “textbook”). I'd like to get a couple more horror-related humor books for some of the older kids/parents, but that's not a necessity.
So yeah, I took out almost 30 books to read: The Supernaturalist, The Book of Three, James & The Giant Peach, History Channel Presents: Haunted History (2), We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Real Vampires, Strange Happenings, Ghost Stories of Henry James, the Odd Thomas graphic novels (2), The Ribbajack, What the Dickens, Batman: Fear Itself, Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, The Thief of Always, The Invisible Man, The Man Who Was Poe, the first two Maximum Ride books, and the short story collections The Skin Trade, Great stories of Suspense & Adventure, Thirteen, Matheson’s The Box, 2 books of Edgar Allan Poe shorts, and The Best Ghost Stories Ever. I’m already halfway through Brian Jacques’s The Ribbajack, a short story collection, so it shouldn’t take me long to finish that one.
I’d also like to read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter before the movie comes out June 22nd, which gives me 28 books to read between now and Halloween. Also, if I reread a couple appropriate Ray Bradbury books (Something Wicked This Way Comes and From The Dust Returned, which brings the total to 30) soon, I may add those to the A.H.R. box. I should be able to knock out a couple YA books (or one long novel) on the 21st next month, which brings me to some good news…
My Greyhound ticket has been purchased for the Akron, OH convention! It’s a long bus ride, so I can get plenty of reading done. I’ll get there Friday morning, then I’ll hang out with my friend Jen for a while. Saturday is the bookstore signing, and then Sunday is the convention. Monday I come home. Should be a super-fun weekend!