Last year, I went to the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale and wrote about some of the things I found, but I never finished writing about the things I took home. Last month the book sale rolled around again and I realized I never completed last year’s post, which I needed to get up before I post about this year’s scores. I didn’t find a lot in the way of Gore this year, but I did get into a book-bragging discussion with a cantankerous old man (I may have been a bit cantankerous myself). But all that’s for next time.
We had no money during last year’s book sale as we were still struggling with unemployment, but I had managed to scrape together ten bucks somehow by raiding all of our change stores and combing through my desk drawers carefully. Or maybe I robbed a bank. I don’t know. It’s been too long. But we had ten dollars, a couple of tote bags, and some friends, and that’s more than enough. Here’s my favorite scores of the bunch.
First I’d like to draw your attention to the three unicorn books in the top left-hand corner. I had those books as a child and could barely contain my glee when I found these in mint condition. Mint. Meaning, stickers included. Yes.
The Nature book is enormous (the photo really doesn’t do it justice) and is a beloved favorite of Isobel’s and even Elias. There are lots of full-color photos so she can feel engaged browsing through it even if I’m not right there reading it. Elias really loves to flip through it and make his noises at the photos. Right now the only books he loves more than this one are the board books that offer different textures to touch. Other books really can’t compete with a book featuring a fuzzy bear with a velvety nose.
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady is my kind of book exactly. Actually, it’s kind of like a blog of her life in the country, discovering different plants and animals, seasons and lights, and recording and illustrating them in a diary. In the photo above you can see a little section of it open in front of Poppy’s fluffy belly. It’s really one incarnation of what I would call a perfect book.
The book next to it with no title isn’t actually a book at all, but a organizer/reminder book. It has spaces for shopping lists, menus, notes, and weekly schedule, with tiny, perfect little illustrations. (If you click on the photo above it should take you to my flickr where you can get a better view) This vintage book is also in perfect, unused condition–a rare find!
For a quarter I picked up Science Experiments You Can Eat for fun with Isobel. It is the exact type of book I would have purchased from a book order in elementary school. We haven’t done any of the experiments yet but when we do I will let you know how they turn out.
The book on weather and photography are gems from the early sixties that I bought just because I liked the art direction for them, but they have great information, too. Obviously the photography book isn’t for DSLR cameras, but there is still a lot of universal information about lighting and such. I just really love the images in both of these books.
You may have noticed the majestic, barely-clothed lass riding on a Pegasus in what appears to be the depths of outer space. These came in a gold foil-covered box and are actually book plates. The painting is called “Golden Wings” by Boris Vallejo from 1977, the height of fantasy-sci fi art. I bought these for Anthony, a man who appreciates both a half naked woman and pegasus flying through space.
We already have a copy of The Hobbit, but now we have a mint-condition paperback copy from 1966.
My favorite score from the bunch, however, is probably the book shown at the very top of the page, Sex and the Single Plant, about plant propagation, by flamboyant gardener Rex Mabe, whose engaging writing style and passion for gardening made him a successful author. The book is filled with beautiful typography, hand-drawn illustrations, and lots of helpful information. The cover is not only vibrantly colored, but made a thick textured cardstock that has held up extremely well since its printing in 1977.