Library Book Sale Yields Boxload of Spoils

Books donated to the Ector County Library must go through an acquisitions process. Those in too poor a shape to be put on the shelf or those of which the library already holds multiple copies are donated to the Friends of the Library. On occasion, books removed from circulation because of a lack of interest in the title or outdated material are also passed on.

The Friends of the Library educates the public about the value of the library, encourages donations and runs the Book Nook. Located in the basement, with a small outpost near the main circulation desk on the 1st floor, the Book Nook offers books, magazines, software and audio/visual material for low prices.

Ever once in a while the Book Nook hosts a really good sale. Such was the case this past Friday when I was able to purchase 35 books —  all I could fit in a smallish cardboard box — for six dollars.

I didn’t find any treasures which could fuel an ebay-based get rich quick scheme, but I did manage to lay hold on some great books.


There’s An Anthology of Famous American Stories (1953) published by Random House under the Modern Library, Literature: The Human Experience (1990) from St. Martin’s Press, The NPR Interviews 1995 by Robert Siegel and Eleven Plays of William Butler Yeats (1976) from Collier Books. I must confess an absolute ignorance of Yeat’s plays. The book is heavily marked with notations, but in otherwise fine shape.

I scored four National Geographic‘s, two Cliff’s Notes (b0th published years before my birth) and a book of poetry — John Scott’s Treasured Volume(1967) by Oak Tree Press. It’s a faux red leather, slipcased edition. A woman has written a note to her mother on the inside front cover.

There’s a copy of The Cross and the Switchblade (1962) by David Wilkerson which I already had, but this one is in much better shape. It’s a special not for resale, student edition with the Pat Boone movie cover. This copy once belonged to Teen Challenge in Midland, TX. I also picked up Rembrandt(1961) by Gladys Schmitt and four books of a six volume history of Thomas Jefferson — Jefferson the Virginian, Jefferson the President: First Term 1801 – 1805, Jefferson the President: Second Term 1805 – 1809 and Jefferson and his Time: The Sage of Monticello by Dumas Malone. Tell me if you know where I can find volumes 2 and 3.

I picked up eight reference works, including The Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary (1966), The Concord Desk Encyclopedia (1982) — a three volume slipcased set associated with TIME — and the Practical English Handbook (1965) from Houghton Mifflin Company. The handbook lists and defines proofreader’s marks and gives advice and exercises on correcting writing mistakes. The gold logo on the cloth cover incorporates a cross which has been repeatedly rubbed by someone’s finger.

I found a Signet Classic paperback of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane among the children’s books, and saved a copy of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and one of Ray Bradbury‘s The Illustrated Man, both from Bantam Books and with 50 cent and 75 cent cover prices respectively. I also grabbed a Dover Thrift Edition of Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage (1990). I can’t pass up Dover Thrift Editions.

There’s Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor. It’s a good condition Viking copy (1985), sans dust jacket, which once belonged to William N Adams of Murrysville, PA. There’s a late 50s/early 60s hardback of Doctor Zhivago published by Pantheon, a complete text version of The Talented Mr. Ripply by Patricia Highsmith from Reader’s Digest, John Le Carre’s The Looking Glass War from Coward-McCann, Inc (these former two I picked up out of curiosity) and Rex Stout’s Champagne for One published by Viking. The dust jacket of this Nero Wolfe novel is severely discolored, but salvageable. The top edge of the pages is a champagne color, and the cover is an almost feminine pinkish with black ink.

It’s not a bad haul for six bucks. I’m sure it will bring me many, many hours of pleasurable reading and years of pride in my collection.


About James A Woods
Freelance Writer, Constant Learner, Family Man

4 Responses to Library Book Sale Yields Boxload of Spoils

  1. Bill Spinks says:

    …lucky guy! Great post about some great finds…very interesting about the H-M Handbook with Cross on cover…wish I could tell you where to find vols 2 & 3 of the Jeffersonian works.

  2. Pingback: Brought to You by the Letter B « The Sky’s the Limit

  3. imparfKayar says:

    Maaaan, you know there is such thing in the web like search engine, if you don’t, go there to understand why this post is bullshit

  4. Pingback: More Bookish Spoils from Friends of the Library Sale « The Sky’s the Limit

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