Looking Forward to September!




Friday, August 3, 2012

Book Sale Treasures & Other Finds

Last weekend was our town's book sale. I worked on it for only three days this year, instead of my usual six, but my time was long enough to see most of what was available. I was very pleased to pick up a copy of Seamus Heaney's prize-winning translation of Beowulf. I love it, because on the left-hand page is the Old English, and on the right the modern English translation. So very cool.

A local couple, owners of a large library of gorgeous art and photography books, are moving to Vermont (Are they crazy or what? We considered moving to Vermont from Boston years ago, but there are too many people and nowhere near enough wild lands.), so we were lucky to have on sale many of the books they chose not to move to their new home. I bought an incredible collection of Margaret Bourke-White's photographs, many of them from the 1930s and 1940s in Europe--Hitler Youth, Soviet laborers, and many other rare photos from this courageous, pioneering American photographer. And I bought several art technique books, including one on acrylic painting, which is my newest challenge in art media. I do love painting with acrylics, using them as one would oil paints.

I bought The Great Forest of the Adirondacks, a regional treasure by probably the best-known and most admired nonfiction author of Adirondack natural history, Barbara McMartin. For our sale, we never have enough Adirondacks books because people hang onto them and pass them on to their children and grandchildren. The few we have, we price them highly and they go quickly.

 At the tale end of the book sale, right before we load all the unsold books to go to the pulper, I salvage as many books as I can for next year's sale as well as grabbing some more for myself, at a very low cost. This year I think my favorite of these was Getting Your First Horse by Judith Dutson,  a substantial guide to everything novices need to know to ensure they purchase a healthy horse appropriate to their needs. I teased Ken with the book by flashing the cover in his face. (Well, not quite that bad, but you get the idea.) When we first moved here, it was understood that I would buy one or two horses. We have a "pole barn," which could easily, though not super cheaply, be transformed into the perfect horse barn. But the impracticality of the plan soon became apparent. Horses are a tremendous amount of work and extremely expensive to maintain. Yes, I have always, always loved horses. But I have enough friends who own horses to remind me of the disadvantages whenever I become weak with horse-envy.







I

9 comments:

  1. I love the idea of a town book sale. Our library has one on a regular basis, but not our "town."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I say I live in a small town, but it's just the population that's small. Our town is huge land-wise, with lots and lots of hamlets.

      The library seems to be a gathering place, a community place. Actually, our town's Friends of the Library run the sale in our town's community center. It's a gala event each summer.

      Delete
  2. Your book sale sounds wonderful, I'm envious! I always thought Vermont sounded lovely, but maybe not! My brother (in Holland) and his wife have 5 horses, very expensive and they take over your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katrina,
      Oh, Vermont is lovely indeed! So very, very beautiful! I love traveling to Vermont, which for us is not difficult to do because we're so close.

      But Vermont is experiencing growing pains. We thought we'd love to live there because the state is extremely liberal (as we are), but I must say that the vast tracks of wilderness and space and lakes and mountains in the Adirondacks just won us over hands down. Most people are very conservative here, except for us transplants, but the land won our hearts.

      If you get the chance, do indeed visit Vermont. You will love it.

      I wish your brother and his wife lived on our mountain road. I could help them take care of their horses, and I would get my "horse fix" without having to travel or own horses myself.

      What led your brother to Holland?

      Best,
      Judith

      Delete
    2. My brother started working at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Glasgow straight from school and became a marine engineer, then a draughtsman. Then went to Holland to work at a Dutch shipyard and became their design director. Married a Dutch girl who loves horses. Had two kids who have spoken both languages since they were toddlers. Dutch to mummy and English to daddy - amazing to see them switch with no problem! My brother has now retired, he's 12 years older than me. Those Scottish engineers get everywhere, just think of Star Trek! "The engines cannae take it Cap'n!"

      Delete
    3. Katrina, excuse me if you have told me, but where was the Dutch shipyard your brother worked in, and where does he live now?

      It's wonderful that his children are bilingual!

      Judith

      Delete
    4. He worked for Damen in north and south Holland/Netherlands. He's retired now and living in N.Holland, he has been there for more than twice the time he lived in Scotland and even Dutch people think he is Dutch!

      Delete
  3. I love book sales. I've worked on book stalls for years and I love it. It sounds like you've picked up some lovely books Judith.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Sarah,
      Yes, I love working on the book sale. I never know what treasures I'll find and that is the joy of it, as well as working with other folks in the community who adore books!

      Judith

      Delete