I noted the first indication I may be turning into one of *those* people this morning, when halfway to the outlet I discovered I'd left my phone at home & unleashed a profane tirade that boomed across the uncaring vistas of Los Osos Valley Road.
Because looking up books was the motivation for buying the damn thing.
Yesterday during an afternoon visit they'd wheeled out a bin brim-full of excellent military history, comprised of what appeared to be the entire library of our local ROTC. I went Great White Shark In A Chum Slick crazy, frightening away the handful of lesser scavengers who'd been hanging around picking at the books in desultory fashion. I was forced to stop when I came up against the physical limitations of having to haul books in an old Jetta (yeah, great, so now I need to get an SUV too?) even though oh, so many good books remained.
This morning I headed back bright and early with a freshly emptied vehicle, with dual hopes that those particular bins were still there, and that nobody who knew what they were doing had gone over them in the interim.
And forgot my phone, and yelled at the sky.
When I got to the bins, it was a whole new batch.
This is usually good, because it means fresh books that haven't had the Junk Ghouls gnawing on them all day long, but in this case sucked because yesterday's stale books were what I wanted.
Still, I found enough to fill three more boxes and there was another little patch of military history down near the bottom of one bin, overflow from yesterday's mother lode.
And....it was liberating not having my phone.
I ignored whole categories, abandoning them to the scanner trolls. Textbooks, murky stuff on politics and economics, the thick layer of evangelical plaque that afflicts all thift stores...any 'all or nothing' topics, where it's either a good internet book or a piece of kindling with no in-between.
I hoovered up all the military history I could find, along with everything else that would look good on a physical bookshelf in a real store surrounded by others of its kind.
Sure, it was a revenue drain- there are enough gold nuggets in those murk streams to make sifting them a requirement of the job (thus the phone).
But for one morning at least it was nice going back to just me and the books, with no hovering internet tugging on my sleeve, poking me in the shoulder, whispering in my ear.