My mom often complains that I dress worse than a streetfood vendor, which is completely fair considering I am constantly out-garbed by those guys in the Sushittos truck. This basically leaves me to compete for “worst-dressed” in my ward with that guy selling street-meat; sadly, a prize that I win regularly. But while others Torontonians are rendered penniless splurging on vacations, million dollar tool sheds, fancy shoes, and finely reassembled bits of cloth, my excuse is that I spend all my disposable income on books. And by my budget book, University of Toronto gets a fair chunk of it.
Fall is booksale season at the University of Toronto and I have been marking it on my calendar diligently each year since moving back. In September to October, the colleges in the UofT have their book sales to raise funds for various activities, much to the delight of Toronto bibliophiles.
One can find old and new anthologies, poetry collections, in-print and out-of-print novels of every kind, along with biographies of the famous, infamous, and the much less famous. Yesterday, I haphazardly found a pristine first edition of Margaret Lawrence’s The Diviners stuffed next to a copy of Key’s light but fun cookbook Food for the Emperor. I also saw a copy of the esoteric Culinary Comedy in Medieval French Literature for sale. And all for a fraction of the price if you had bought them off ebay or one of the mega bookstores. On top of that, books are half price on the last day and only several dollars a crate in the last few hours of the sale.
I also love the “feel” of these volunteer organized sales; shabby, chaotic, and packed with nerdy merchandise, like what you would expect if the local flea market had illegitimate children with the university library. As an added bonus, here a sartorially challenged book lover can walk and browse amongst poorly dressed faculty and students without standing out.
As of today sale season is half over, though there are still two more coming mid-October:
- Victoria College: September 22 – September 26 2016
- St-Michael’s College: September 27 – September 30 2016
- University College: October 14 – October 18 2016
- Trinity College: October 20 – October 24 2016
Not to be missed!!!