"But you already have a later version of this," I protest.
"Yeah, but I don't have that one," he explains.
Third grade logic. Maybe I can find a buyer for last year's telephone directories?
* * * * *
Later, the organizers announce a desperate deal over the PA system -- grab a bagful of unsold books for $1. I have enough unread blocks of paper around the house, but to the bibliophile in me, this is the muezzin's call to prayer. I grab a five-minute respite from running the frog-flipping stand. The book room seems to be the place where lightly used copies of What to Expect When You're Expecting go to die. But there, on the hardback fiction table, still unsold despite the price -- a tattered, ex-library, ex-Salvation Army thrift store copy of my own An Embarrassment of Corpses. I buy it to give it a decent burial, but in the end give it to my friend and fellow mother Robin, who was handling the frogs in my absence.
(I wonder if another friend and fellow mother and fellow author, Annabel, has these problems? She co-wrote a book called Click: The Girl's Guide to Knowing What You Want and Making it Happen, which was very popular around these parts. I have a feeling that her teenage readers aren't giving up that particular bible to school fairs anytime soon.)