For my birthday I went to Goodwill. I go there every month or so to search through the books for first editions. Some great finds there . . . and all for $1.00.
The place was packed. I could scarcely navigate through the aisles of underwear and T-shirts to get to the book stacks. I also avoided the people who looked to be carrying spores from a cholera epidemic, but eventually I found the books.
Lots of John Grisham back there. Almost picked up a copy of Playing for Pizza, but it was a third printing and that wouldn't do. I also gave a glance toward a copy of The Celestine Prophecy . . . a book that I consider to be one of the worst-written in the English language, but still a mega-ton-million copy seller when it was in its heyday. And, although I'm not a Danielle Steele reader, there were plenty of her titles to choose from.
This time around, I walked out of Goodwill with nothing in my hands. Didn't spend my birthday dollar. If I can't find a decent first edition, I don't pay.
I almost returned, however, to purchase my wife a welcome-home gift. I miss her when she is away. But then I thought better of it and decided to just write her a poem or a letter.
Sometimes those personal gifts work out better for me than a pair of Billy-Buck Teeth from Goodwill. You never know who gummed them first.