Well, here's the thing. My fabulous library (which has a delightful used bookstore RIGHT INSIDE IT. If it had a coffee bar, I'd never go home) hosts some shelves outside where there are books for (practically) free. (I think a dime per book is requested--there's a tiny cash-box attached to the wall for your practically-free-book-buying convenience.)
(How am I doing with parentheses so far? Next post, I'll demonstrate the Great Value of--wait for it--em dashes.)
So the last time I returned books to the library, before it had actually opened, my only option was to browse the Practically Free Shelves for reading material. (The library was closed, you see. Its little bookstore, too.)
And here's what I now realize. Those books are practically free for a reason.
So now I've read the first two books in an early-80s "YA" "mystery" series. (And I use those quotation marks charitably. Because who among us knows a teenager who actually uses the word "perhaps" in everyday conversation???) Also a zany 70s book by a very, very well-known MG writer. (This book is NOT one of her well-known offerings. For good reason.) A WWII coming-of-age story where the Jewish family actually escapes before anything really awful happens. (It would have been an interesting read if not for the chronic--and random--flashbacks.) And a super-cheese MG mystery where the nice aunt dun it and the mean aunt didn't realize she was really that mean.
So forget those gift-bearing Greeks. What I really need to watch out for is book-gifting geeks. No more practically free books for me. I swear. I shall avoid the near occasion of the practically free shelves. And I refuse to feel guilty for placing my practically free purchases back on those shelves for some other desperate schmuck to pick up. So there.