NOTE: THIS POST ERRONEOUSLY POSTED TODAY. IT WAS SCHEDULED TO RUN ON SUNDAY THE 16th. PLEASE BE CERTAIN TO READ THE OTHER POST OF TODAY, "AM I A BOTTOM-FEEDER OF CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION?" MY APOLOGIES FOR THE CONFUSION.
On the eve of 2011, I challenged readers to shop for the 2011 holiday season year-round and spend “A dollar a day for the 2011 holidays” by shopping thrift. January on into February are exceptional months for thrift shopping because: 1) people purge their homes in the last minutes of 2010 for donation tax write offs and 2) many unwanted holiday gifts end up in thrift stores; still in the box or tags still dangling.
I thought it wise to check in mid-month and report my progress. This post is on books. I love giving books, maybe because my friends and I love reading them. And what better way to save money on shipping than with the book/media postal rate?
I found many new books, dead certain the spine has never been cracked. Perhaps a tossed holiday gift? Most of these finds will become birthday gifts.
A few of my favorite selection from adult fiction and non-fiction are:
1) The World of Escoffier by Timothy Shaw. This biography of one of the world's most famous chefs is a glossy page masterpiece complete with amazing photos, art and script.
2) The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt.
3) Stones into Schools by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greg Mortenson, founder of The Central Asia Institute and co-author of Three Cups of Tea, considered by many as one of the most important reads of our time.
4) A fresh, never been opened paperback of the 1998 re-release of I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This is one of my favorite British classics and was made into a film in 2003, which is lovely but nothing compared to the book.
In the children's section I found:
1) The twentieth anniversary hardback of Babe, The Gallant Pig by Dick-King Smith. Yes, this is the darling sheep herding little pig from the movie, Babe. This endearing story with heart-warming illustrations by Maggie Kneen are a great gift for the young child who is tired of having picture books read to them and is up for the challenge of an honest chapter book.
2) National Book Award Finalist, each little bird that sings by Deborah Wiles. This hardback edition has likewise never been cracked. I recommend this book to readers of all ages. The back of the book begins, "Top Ten Tips for First-rate Funeral Behavior" as written by ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger who lives in a funeral home and writes obituaries.
3) The secret lives of Princesses by Pillippe Lechermeir beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer. This book was a COMPLETE score and I will keep it for my own Legacy Library. However, it’s gorgeous artwork and whimsical nature will probably force me to buy a few used copies for certain little girls I know that NEED a copy of this book at their sides. It has a page of "The International Alphabet of [Hand] Fans" similar to naval flag signals as well as a page of "Palaces & Residences" which include a Manhattan Walk-Up, an Inuit and Rustic. If you have a little girl in your life who loves books, I think she needs a copy. Mr. Golightly and I firmly believe that it had to be a mistake that this book was donated. It's a complete charm and we've read it together and enjoyed every word and will adapt some of the terminology into our daily speech like "to have a toad on the stove" is princess talk for "running late".
On the vintage circuit I found the 1960 original The I Hate To Cook Book by Peg Bracken with illustrations by Hilary Knight. Apparently, a 50th anniversary edition was recently released. The copy I have resells at around $15 but – to me – the book is priceless. I'd buy it just for Knight's illustrations.
A quick tally of my thrift purchase of these lovely books, seven hardback and one fresh paperback, comes in at $14.
Had I selected them new online, the total purchase would have exceeded $175.
Had I bought them online on used market it would have totaled near $90.
In addition to saving all that money and having lovely gifts for the coming year, I found a paperback copy of a book I almost bought at the price-o-club because I was in desperate need of a read. Instead of paying close to $10 for The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry, I paid $1 at the thrift. Call it serendipity, but it happens a lot when you thrift.
It can all be found at the thrift, new releases, current best sellers, classics, and rare and out-of-print books for a small fraction the conventional market would have you pay.
One of my favorite book finds is a small, very old, first edition French translation of Beatrix Potter's Tiggy-Winkle (Histoire de Poupette-a-L'Epingle) published by F. Warne & Co. Ltd., London. This book has no publication date but is so precious to behold, like a little baby. I paid 50 cents for it.
I'm certain many readers have favorite books scored by thrift. Do tell.