Good Book Hunting, Saturday, April 30, 2022: The Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale and ABC Books

As I mentioned Friday, I stopped at the Friends of the Springfield Greene-County Library book sale to pick through records and dollar poetry books and at ABC Books for gift cards for teachers. I held you in suspense as to whether I would return on Saturday to go through the Better Books section when the Better Books and whatnot would be half price and ABC Books would hold a book signing.

To be honest, I stopped at ABC Books on Friday because I was unsure whether I would return to the north side of Springfield on Saturday, as many things could preclude my return trip. But after a rare appearance on a Saturday morning at the dojo, I went home, cleaned myself up, and pointed my little truck northward. I actually took the highway route all the way around Springfield; I think it saved a couple of minutes, but the view was less interesting.

So, yes, I did get some books.

I got a single record from the Better Books section which was down to two partially full crates: Lady Godiva by Peter and Gordon because PWOC (Pretty Woman on Cover). First, I thought it might be some musical sound recording. Then, I thought it was that one song you hear on the radio. Oh, but no, that’s “Lady Madonna” by the Beatles:

Apparently Peter and Gordon’s song has a sixties folk flavor:

You know, the genre I don’t actually like. Ah, well, it was a dollar.

I got some audio books/audio courses just in time for a long drive to Wisconsin this summer:

  • Mathematical Decision Making
  • Critical Business Skills for Success
  • Behavioral Economics
  • A History of European Art
  • Reagan: The Life by H.W. Brands

I shall probably pack Reagan, Critical Business Skills for Success, and A History of European Art for the ride as the look as though they’ll be the least likely to put me to sleep. And I’m glad that I got to reload the audio content a bit since the John Dewey entry in the Giants of Philosophy series has been riding unheeded in the truck for a while, replaced in the cassette player by a warped Iron Maiden cassette from the 1980s. Property of my beautiful wife, but by the laws of the state of Missouri, it’s half mine now.

And the books include:

  • Childe Harold’s Pilgramage by Lord Byron, an 1847 edition, for $2.50. The spine is a bit banged up, but I’ve got it wrapped in mylar to protect it. Clearly not a reading copy.
  • The Pillars of Society, a play in four acts, in an 1890 paper cover edition. Not too bad of shape considering it’s a paperback. For $2.50.
  • Mine The Harvest by Edna St. Vincent Millay, a stated first edition from 1954, a posthumous collection. With a dust jacket. For $1. As you know, gentle reader, Millay is my favorite poet, and this is a steal.
  • Blood Relatives by Ed McBain. Apparently, I already own this book–I wrote a book report on it in 2006, so I will have to see if this is a better copy. It’s so rare to find mid-career McBain in the wild, even in used bookstores, these days so I snapped it up for $1.
  • Three books from Lloyd C. Douglas, Doctor Hudson’s Secret Journal, White Banners, and Disputed Passage. They’re matching Colliers editions, and I paid $1.50 each for them. I liked his Home for Christmas when I read it as my Christmas novel in 2011. The fact that he had a set of matched Colliers books meant that he was quite something in the 1930s–I mean, I have some Steinbeck in similar editions. But Douglas would seem to be mostly forgotten now. Maybe not by people who read Karen Kingsbury novels, though.
  • Options by O. Henry, a 1909 edition of short stories. For $1, for crying out loud.
  • The Saint Meets His Match by Leslie Charteris. I recognized the logo on the front of the book, the mark of the Saint. I have only read a couple in the series. Fun fact: The Saint has been portrayed in visual media by Roger Moore and by Van Kilmer. Also $1.
  • The Sky Is The Limit, the autobiography of Ralph K. Manley as told to and written by Susie Knust. The story of a paratrooper in World War II. Signed by Manley. $1.50!
  • Fish Tales and Scales by Jean Elizabeth Ford. A signed copy of small reminiscences and tales from the 1940s–probably as told by relatives to the author. Local interest, and $1.
  • Girlfriends and Wives, a collection of poetry by Robert Wallace. $1. Signed by the author.
  • Two books by local author Todd Parnell, The Buffalo, Ben, and Me and Privilege and Privation. Apparently, I bought a copy of Privilege and Privation at the May 2021 Friends of the Library Book Sale. Man, I really should get all of my books into a database, not just the books I have read. But my current database is wheezing under its load already–it’s got an Access DB back-end, so it’s not designed for big data sets. Also, it is 22 years old. But modern, Web-based databases have subscription pricing, and I’m kind of cheap and would prefer to have my own data in my own hands. So perhaps I will have to write something of my own. And I’ll have to find which copy of Privilege and Privation to keep. This one is signed, but the other is also probably signed. These were $1.50 each.
  • The Lego Power Functions Idea Book: Machines and Mechanisms by Yoshihito Isogawa. I bought this for my youngest son, but who knows what he will do with it. He has a phone now.
  • Fine Books: Pleasures and Treasures by Alan G. Thomas. Kind of a history and picture book of, well, books. $1.50.
  • Electricity for All: The Story of Ozark Electric Cooperative, 1937-2012 by Jim McCarty. Ozark is my electric coop, and this will be a fascinating look at electricity getting rolled out to this area in living memory.
  • Fantin-Latour by Michelle Verrier, a monograph of an artist who looks like he focused a lot on still lifes with flowers. It looks to be mostly images after a little introduction, perfect for browsing during football games, although I am not sure we will watch much football in the autumn.
  • Style in MotionL Munkacsi Photographs of the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s by Nancy White and Jogn Esten. C’mon, man, it’s got Fred Astaire on the cover. Everything else is gravy. It looks to be mostly actual photographs of the era and little text. Good for browsing during a football game, but, well. I paid a whopping $2.50 for it.

So, all told, I spent less than fifty dollars at the book sale, and the biggest bunch of that was on the audio courses.

Then, I stopped by ABC Books for the book signing. When I approached the table, S.V. Farnsworth asked if I’d come to see her, and I said I had, and that I’d missed her last time. “Oh, you’re that guy,” she said. Apparently, she’s got an alert set up that notifies her of mentions of her name on the Internet, and she was alerted with the post from last November when I said I’d missed her book signing or my post on Friday talking about maybe going to see her today. So when I said I’d take one of each, she pointed out that I already own Hard Start: Mars Intrigue. Ah, but not a signed copy, I responded.

So I got her six available books:

  • Hard Start: Mars Intrigue. Now that I have two copies, I will be twice as likely to read it soon.
  • Woman of the Stone, first book in the Modutan Empire series. Fantasy, it would seem.
  • Monarch in the Flames, the second book of the series. One presumes at least four books if the elements in the title indicate.
  • A Rare Connection, an Inspirational Romantic Suspense book.
  • Tucked Away in a Discolored Scrapbook, a collection of creative nonfiction and poetry.
  • Seasons of the Four States, an anthology she edited.

Odds are that I will read either Hard Start or Tucked Away in a Distant Corner first amongst them.

I also asked Mrs. E. if they wrapped books in Mylar as a service, and she said they did for $1.50 a book. So I immediately had them wrap the Edna St. Vincent Millay book and the Ed McBain book to protect the dust jackets. They have rolls of special Mylar with paper designed to brace and protect dust jackets and not clear Mylar, so she made a little sleeve for the Lord Byron book; however, when I got home, I cut the paper from it and had enough to make one of my sloppy wrappers for a book.

So, overall, I spent under a hundred dollars at the book sale both days. Believe it or not, this is actually responsible behavior on my part.

Which is good, as I am again back to stacks of books atop the stacks of books on my to-read shelves. I mean, I once wrote an article talking about hiding the halberd on my office wall on business video calls, but I don’t have to worry about that any more as books are stacked in front of it. And I have not yet built more record shelving to hold recent acquisitions, where recent = in the last two years.

So, I am fortunate that it is about six months until the next book sale. My next trip to ABC Books, not so much.

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