Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Troweling for Book Bargains

On the Saturday mornings of our annual book club retreat in Nebraska City (see this post at Vital Signs for a re-cap of our latest excursion), we go into the town center for an hour or two to browse around. I've found some amazing book bargains over the years in the basement of one particular thrift store and managed to scrounge up a few more this time too.

Among those treasures? 1) A few treasured hardbound copies for our collection of popular entertainment books: Little Orphan Annie and the Gila Monster Gang, 1934; Ginger Rogers and the Riddle of the Scarlet Cloak, 1942; Shirley Temple and the Spirit of Dragonwood, 1945 -- all for $3.

2) Three nice G.A. Henty novels I didn't have. All less than $4.

3) A few copies of authors who were best-sellers in the early and mid decades of the 20th Century but who have long been out of print including Thomas Costain, Hugh Walpole, George Barr McCutcheon, and Frances Hodgson Burnett.

and 4) Two great finds: an excellent hardbound copy of Harold Lamb's The Crusades: Iron Men and Saints (1930) for $4 and a fair (but rather rare) copy of Samuel Eliot Morison's The Two Ocean War: A Short History of the United States Navy in the Second World War for $7.50. That was the most expensive purchase of the day.

Later on in a new bookstore, I talked to the manager about the Redwall series I've heard so much about and ended up coming out with a paperback copy of the first book in what is a long series. I'll let you know what I think of it.

Shopping for books in a thrift store that has a lot of them and then ending up in a comfy small-town bookstore that has a coffee shop en suite -- can you think of a more pleasant way to wile away a couple of hours?