Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Book Sale Season!

It has begun again. Libraries all over Vermont will be off-loading excess inventory, donations, and the un-checked-out at porch sales for the next month or so. My ardor has cooled a little this year because, well, I just have too much stuff, and too many books. But the bargains... Oh... the bargains.

And once in a while a treaure. Two books I rummaged from last year's sales netted about $225 on Ebay, which actually made last season profitable.

Kids and I hit our first sale of 2009 yesterday (and again today) at the splendid Goodrich Memorial Library in the local shire town, Newport, Vermont. Above are some great vintage horsey titles the Understudy picked out of the musty boxes. Did you read Misty of Chincoteague once upon a time? All us girls on Riverdale Road read Misty back in the 70s, in this edition, and dreamed of the wild horses we would adopt. Let's see, how many wild ponies could a quarter acre in the suburbs support - not counting the bit under the balcony where nothing could grow? Three? Four?

And National Velvet needs no introduction. (Once, Elizabeth Taylor was 14, unmarried, and had never screwed up a movie or appeared on the cover of a tabloid).

This edition is illustrated by Paul Desmond Brown who has been good to me, by supplying an original drawing I bought cheap at auction and an autographed copy of a horse stories book from the Stowe sale (bought for 50 cents and sold for $175). I also love his style, profits aside.

The other book is a great 1945 production (in compliance with wartime publishing restrictions, meaning the paper's a little flimsy). It's a compilation of stories and poems by really great writers (Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Rose Benet, etc) and has a few wonderful illustrations. E.g.:

"Foxhunting: The unspeakable, chasing the inedible." (As per Oscar Wilde) Well, maybe, but arent' the horses and their riders beautiful? I admit I would love a chance to wear that kit and have my picture taken next to the glossy neck of a chestnut hunter.

Stowe's sale starts next week.