Working at the library has many benefits for an avid reader such as myself. One of them is getting to check out the sales shelf each day and finding additions to my ever-growing book collection. The library has a constant sales shelf filled with donations we can’t use in our collection, including books, magazines, movies and the occasional record album or puzzle set, and books pulled from our collection. At the rate that I buy books from the sales shelf I’m sure to be featured if a “Book Hoarders” television series is ever filmed.

This week I was delighted to find a couple entries in a favorite series that the library has in its collection as well. The “Incarnations of Immortality” books by Piers Anthony are old favorites that I’m rereading after having them come to my attention again. The series has the premise that Death, Time, Fate, War and Nature are jobs filled with actual people.

The first book in the series (and I’m of the opinion that you should always read books in order) is “On a Pale Horse” and features the role of Death. The book opens with Zane accidently killing Death, which means he must immediately fill the vacant position. Zane has a steep learning curve and makes mistakes, but he’s determined to do a good job. Zane is introduced to the other Incarnations and becomes mired in an intrigue masterminded by Satan. He soon comes to the conclusion that this job may the Death of him.

The following books are “Bearing an Hourglass,” featuring Time; “With a Tangled Skein,” for the Aspects of Fate; “Wielding a Red Sword,” focusing on War; and “Being a Green Mother,” with Nature front and center. These books explore questions of good and evil, world religions, and the afterlife. I also have to say that they’re action-packed reads with romance, intrigue and supernatural aspects combined.

Piers Anthony’s series featuring these larger-than-life characters is a great read, and the first five books can be found at the Joplin Public Library. You can also check out the sales shelf while at the library to see what treasures can be found for a low price. One nice thing about buying a book off the sales shelf is that you don’t have to worry about late fines if you forget to return it on time!

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