Thursday, August 30, 2012

Best Book Sale Ever

In my last post, I alluded to something that happened on vacation that was even more exciting than an encounter with Martha Stewart. One of the unexpected highlights of the trip was finding some treasures at one of the biggest, best book sales I've ever been to that just happened to be going on at the Bar Harbor library. Tables and boxes of books stretched along the front of the library, wrapped around to the back of the building, and filled all of the interior rooms, including the basement. It was a far cry from the sidewalk folding table my local library puts out for their sale. I could tell there were some serious bibliophiles there.

I came away with a stack of books that are on my To Read list.

I also got a very small, sweet French edition of Tom Sawyer, complete with an inscription inside the front cover.

(I like to think that Mrs. Plourde was Darcy's French teacher.)

I picked up a 1936 edition of Gone with the Wind and a very pretty copy of Anna Karenina with illustrated color plates.

And just as I was wrapping up my shopping, I spotted two gorgeous Folio editions of Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. I literally gasped when I saw how pretty they were...

...and then proceeded to walk away from them! They were priced at $20 apiece, which seemed like a fortune compared to all of the other $1 and $2 books. Of course I came to my senses in a matter of moments and went back for them, only to see another woman looking at them. She put them down and took a step away; I swooped in and scooped them up. As I lurked off to the side waiting to pay, I could hear her trying to haggle down the price for them. Unaware that I had grabbed the books, she pulled the bookseller over to where they had been to point them out, talking about how Nancy Mitford was her favorite author. Confusion ensued when the Mitford fan couldn't find the books. Finally the bookseller spotted me with them. The Mitford fan acquiesced when she realized that I was willing to pay full price for the books, although I did have to assure her that I love Nancy Mitford and promise to enjoy the books. It all happened in under a minute but felt very dramatic. I left feeling breathless and shaky and only a tiny bit guilty.

Have you ever found any used book treasures?


  1. Those Nancy Mitford books are gorgeous! I'm glad you fought for them.

  2. Okay, that is more exciting than Martha! The Anna Karenina and the Mitfords are beautiful and I would have fought for the Mitfords too! I'm glad you went back. They are so gorgeous.
    I have never found anything even remotely exciting at our library book sales. It is usually just mass market paperbacks as far as the eye can see.

  3. I'm holding it in my hands now--The Secret Garden. What really made this find unique was the Tasha Tudor illustrations. The celery-green paper cover is decorated with a garland of pink roses around the edge. Inside the rosy border, Tudor drew a wreath of ivy that surrounds young Mary Lennox tentatively unlocking a garden door. Small illustrations introduce each of the book's 27 chapters, too. And full-page color drawings--11 in all--pop up every so often to add moments of true delight to the reading experience. The drawings are sweet and precious and seem to be the ideal companion to this tender story.
    And all for the bargain price of $2. Can you believe it?

  4. I'm jealous of your loot. Now, I have never found any used book treasures. Of course I've found books to read, but nothing like the ones you bought.

    I am on a mission this weekend for book treasures. Thanks for the inspiration.



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