Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Joy of Jumble Sales

There is something wonderfully unpredictable about second hand stuff. This morning we went to a second hand book sale that is held monthly by a local charity. The sale is well supported by donors and readers so there is always a good selection of books on offer along with a smattering of dvds and even the occasional board game. I came away from this morning's event with a book about the British Empire, a sci fi novel, a PC game (Star Wars, Empire at War) and a box set of a 1970s TV series called Flambards that I loved as a teenager and that my period drama obsessed teenage daughter wants to watch now.

There is no way that a 'real' shop with its utterly predictable range of carefully displayed products could ever offer such a wonderfully serendipitous shopping experience. Online shopping should be better but it is actually worse. Despite the enormous variety of goods both new and used available online the ruthless precision of information technology greatly reduces the likelihood of an unexpected find. The very tools which make it so easy to find precisely what you are looking for make it extremely unlikely that you will find some unexpected treasure that you are not looking for. I bet there are many copies of the Flambards box set for sale on Amazon and Ebay but I would never have thought to look for one.

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