Thursday, July 21, 2016

B is for book sale

Last Saturday was the annual book sale to benefit a senior care center in the small town of Pleasant Hill, which is about five miles up the road from me. They do three different charity sales a year, the other two being a trash to treasure sale in March, and a silent auction in September.

Pleasant Hill is primarily a retirement community of about 600 people, consisting of mostly folks from outside the area. I don't really know why so many people retire to there, but they do, and I'm glad they do as there seem to be some very interesting people living there. There seems to be a big difference between the older people that move there compared to the elderly locals, in that a lot of the older people from around here tend to have that " the lights are on, but no one's home" look in their eyes, the Pleasant Hill transplants all seem to be much more active and lively.

Even though I went to the book sale and silent auction last year, I still find going to Pleasant Hill to be a bit of an odd experience. After traveling the two lane highway for about five miles, you turn onto a narrow two lane road which is pretty dark even during the day, due to the dense woods on either side. About half a mile down the road you see an old cemetery and then a small market and gas station before you reach a stop sign. At that point you turn left, and it's like all of sudden there's just this town in front of you with a lot of newer looking buildings and well manicured trees and lawns. If anyone has ever seen Big Fish, it's like the town of Spectre in the movie, not so much in appearance--but how it seems hidden away in the last place you would think there would be some kind of community.

For this sale, they have a pretty simple pricing system of $1 for hardbacks and 50 cents for paperbacks. With a small section reserved for a couple of pricier books ($4-5 range).

So I might as well start with this one, as it was the only sports related book purchased:
There weren't too many to choose from in that category. Actually there were only six, one of them being a book all about antique golf clubs, and as exciting of a read as that sounded, I decided to pass.

A little slice of home:
Definitely an odd book to find in landlocked Tennessee.

The myths/folklore section was pretty decent this year, which is a good thing, since it's one of my favorite subjects:

Next up is two that fit into the BOAB (big ol' art book) category:

The one on top, Cities and People, is really quite good. I was almost tempted in to doing an entire post about that one alone, but I'm guessing that would get an even fewer views than this one will.

Right when you walk through the doors on your immediate right, in the corner, they also have a couple of tables set up with cassettes, CD's, DVD's and videos at various fixed prices. Because I'm a video hound (yes, I still actively seek out VHS tapes), this was where I went first. The selection wasn't as good as it was last year, but I still managed to find a couple of things that were of great interest to me.

I don't know how familiar any of you are with The Teaching Company. For those unfamiliar, they have a program called " The Great Courses" which are college lectures (although some of the newer courses are not college subjects
) on an array of subjects that have been available across all the major forms of media over the years. I have been a big fan of theirs, since getting a random catalog in the mail sometime in my late teens. The catch has always been that their products are a bit on the pricey side, even when on sale (which is often). Finding them used in the wild (not counting eBay) has been pretty much impossible for me over the years, so I was very surprised to find a couple at this particular sale.

All of these are in the old clamshell packs, which consist of six cassettes with two 30-minute lectures per tape.

This one is part of a much larger set. Unfortunately the rest of the set wasn't there, but this one by itself still looks like it should be pretty enjoyable.

I'm pretty neutral when it comes to religion, but I still enjoy learning about the beliefs of others. These four cassette packs came to a total of $4, not bad for 24 hours worth of listening (and hopefully learning too!).

Another great thing about this sale is the free section that is set up by the exit, this is the stuff that they just want gone, so there are no limits on how much you can take. There wasn't as much to choose from as there was last year, but I still managed to come away with a couple of things.

All start with my favorite:

Honestly, I find it hard to believe that this book was free, I mean my heart actually skipped a beat when I saw it. It's a third edition from 1916 and they apparently didn't think anyone was going to buy it for $1, heck, I would have bought it for a couple of dollars. Now I have to find part 1.

This was simply a rescue mission. I couldn't leave this 1970 Scholastic edition toiling at the bottom of the box I found it in any longer. Sure it's got some water stains (I hope) and some bends and folds, but it's Scholastic! And if I didn't take it, I fear that the garbage was going to be it's final destination.

The essays in this book are apparently held in high regard. And I only grabbed it because I liked the cover. So, in this instance it was okay to judge a book by it's cover! (Side note: That is a common practice for me)

Another one that I don't understand being free.

Even though I'm not a big fan of the direction that National Geographic has gone in the last 15-20 years, I will still grab one from 1950.

And finally:
This was my first time seeing an issue (or four) of the Smithsonian magazine in person. Hopefully their as good as they look.

All in all, I spent $11 (sales tax included). Once you add all the free stuff to the pile, it turned in to a pretty good haul for not a lot of money. It's also nice to know that the money is going to a very good cause.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.


  1. Id say you found some good stuff. I have an issue of Smithsonian with Ted Williams on the cover and an article on baseball collectibles inside. Its the only issue of Smithsonian I've ever looked at.

    1. If Mark doesn't already have that issue, he probably will soon.

  2. That's a great Gaul for 11 bucks. Love the old national geographic. Obviously the basketball book would top my list.

    1. Why am I not surprised that a book with Bill Russell on the cover would be your favorite of the bunch. According to online reviews, it's supposed be pretty good, but I guess I'll find out soon enough.

  3. I LOVE book sales. My local library does two a year, and I make sure to hit both. My brother jokes that I like to buy my weight in books, lol. The first year I came home with more than 30 books...mostly history. This year's first sale (the second is in October) was slim pickings, but I still managed to bring home 7 books. I'm jealous of your history book from 1916. Nice! I have purchased a couple books just because they were old and I didn't want them to become seagull food. The oldest I've found is a collection of Mark Twain's work from 1923. I have not read it yet.

    I was somewhat disappointed with Smithsonian Magazine. I chose not to subscribe...I found it was too expensive and mostly fluff pieces, not a lot of actual history. A new publication that I've been enjoying is National Geographic History. It's a little pricey but the articles are excellent, and the photographs are also very good...and include stuff I have not seen before, which is nice.

    1. Library book sales are one of the things I miss most about Portland. There were multiple county libraries at reasonable distances that always seemed to be having a sale of some kind.

      I hadn't even heard of National Geographic History before, but I will definitely try and find at least one so that I can see what's what. I'm sure you're probably familiar with it already, but if not, another really good one is Archaeology Magazine, especially the pre-2000 issues.

    2. Oh yeah, I'm subscribed to Archaeology and Current Wold Archaeology, a British magazine, which is my favorite. I also am subscribed to American Archaeology (published by some non-profit group, I forget the name) but I won't be resubscribing again. They only really care about the west coast, totally ignoring the huge American Indian historical footprint of the northeast and elsewhere, but the real kicker is that they sold my name and address and I get all kinds of crap in the mail now that I didn't get before but started showing up within days of my first issue.

    3. You sure know your magazines! After looking up that Current World Archaeology, I am now seriously considering a subscription.

  4. I love book sales almost as much as card shows. At 11 bucks total, I'd say you made out like a bandit.

    1. I would imagine in your part of the country that there would be some pretty good sales, although you would have considerably more people to compete with in order to take full advantage of said good sales.

  5. I've listened to Bart Ehrman's lectures through Great Courses as podcasts on my iPod. He is an excellent lecturer. The process and story of how a number of non-Biblical gospels were excluded in some fashion from the Catholic/Christian Bible as we know it is fascinating.

    Having bought some classes from that company, I know now also that they have a new streaming subscription price for folks who don't want to pony up for every course and want to play tons of different ones.

    1. Tony, you kind of surprised me with your comments. Hopefully that doesn't sound like an insult, I just wasn't expecting anyone to reply with that kind of working knowledge of the Great Courses. Of course to be honest, I thought this might end up being one of those posts that nobody even clicked on.

      I am still (and probably always will) primarily a physical media sort of a person, that being said, I will definitely look into that streaming subscription, especially if it offers a more affordable way to partake in some of the lectures.

  6. Love that 1970 Scholastic copy of Aesop's Fables. Nice find.

    1. Thanks, I just couldn't leave there. Looking back, I have some very fond memories from grade school when it was time to order from the Scholastic catalog. I just wish I would have saved some of those catalogs!

    2. I loved buying books from Scholastic book orders as a kid. I can still remember at least a few of my teachers passing them out and letting us flip through them and decide what we were going to buy.

      From as teacher's standpoint, I taught 5th and 6th grade my first ten years in the classroom. Whenever kids buy stuff, teachers earn reward points. I saved up my points my first few years and bought an iPod with it. And a few years ago... after being at the middle school level for 5 or so years... I checked into my Scholastic account and noticed I had enough banked points to buy my iPad. If I ever go back into the elementary school classroom... I'll definitely start distributing those book orders to my students again.

    3. I had never heard about teacher's getting reward points. That seems like pretty good incentive to hand out the catalogs, although I would like to think that most teacher's would still participate in the program even if they weren't getting anything. I also didn't know that Scholastic was even still around.

      On a related note. I found a fun little article earlier today, in which the author discusses Scholastic memories:

    4. Yeah. We'll use anything to get kids interested in reading. Scholastic is still very huge. They have warehouses scattered throughout the country with great prices. You can see if there are any near you:

      And thanks for sharing that article. Brought back good memories.

    5. Thanks for the link. Not surprisingly, there don't appear to be any even remotely close to me.