much crying and weeping and gnashing of teeth after the sale of this book

This morning my daughters and I held an all toys, all kid’s stuff garage sale, and I have to admit it was way more successful than I thought it would be. All in all we made a profit of $75 bucks which has the girls tickled pink! With one small exception…

The sale of one book put a bit of a damper on the success of our event. My oldest daughter experienced a large dose of seller’s remorse after a small child bought one of her books. “A Summery Saturday Morning” is no longer in our possession, and I have a 16 year old who is seriously bereaved over it’s passing into a new child’s hands.

During a lull in customers, my daughter picked up the book and read it out loud. I commented on how cute she was reading it when she was little. I told her how I liked the way she used to say the word “summery” –  The same way I like the way she says “cream” and “Christmas.” She even had a little song to go with the phrase “on a summery Saturday morning.” After reading it, she put it back in the book bin and we went on with our little sale.

It was late in the morning – perhaps 35 minutes before we closed shop. A family of 4 came up the driveway and the young girl made a beeline for the books. Not the Barbies or the beanie babies, but the books. She flipped through them all, selected 3, but had a hard time selecting a 4th. They were 25¢ each, and she had a dollar burning a hole in her pocket.

She walked around, looked at the other merchandise, and then headed back to the books. Her father was prompting her to hurry, and she grabbed “A Summery Saturday Morning” and paid me her dollar. I remember exclaiming, “Aw, there goes ‘A Summery Saturday Morning’!” and wished them a good day.

30 minutes later when it was time to call it quits and carry stuff back into the garage, I asked my oldest for some help. She sat glumly in the chair with her back to me and sighed “I don’t feel like it.” I asked her if anything was wrong and she just shrugged. I could tell she was bothered by something, and she finally admitted to me that she was upset that the book was gone.

I felt horrible. I asked her why she hadn’t held it out of the sale box after reading it earlier in the day. I had no problem with taking it off the market – there were lots of toys that the kids flat out refused to part with even though they never play with them. I think she just thought it wouldn’t get bought. She spent a good hour teary-eyed and melancholy over that book. A 16 year old. Over a child’s book.

My childhood Best-Seller

But I totally get it. I found a copy of a book I loved as a child on ebay and I rushed to buy it. It was a dopey Dick and Jane style book. I look at the pages and I am brought back to a time in my life that I so cherish – so I understand how she is bummed over the loss of this book. I tried to let her know that at least it went to a reader…an avid reader. This girl had book tunnel vision – it was all she was interested in.

So now I am trolling ebay for another copy. I’ll surprise her with it, and make things ok. I sold it for a quarter, but will spend way more getting it back. But that’s what moms do – I have to make this all better. And if spending $4 on a floppy paper back kids book is all it takes, then I say “mission accomplished.”