Friday, April 30, 2010

The Spring 2010 Sale Is On!

The book sale has started! We are open today from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Sunday, the books are half-price, but the selection is better today and tomorrow.

Our sale is made possible by:
  • countless donations of books, CDs, DVDs, videos, etc. throughout the year
  • hours and hours of volunteer time sorting and pricing the books
  • more hours and hours of volunteer time setting up, running, and taking down the sale
  • lots of wonderful customers. Hopefully you will be one of them!
Come. Shop. Buy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Book Sale Quirks

First off, I find that technology is sneakier than I am. I had time at the beginning of April and I was thinking about various book sale blogs so I wrote several and only posted one. I thought that the date on the blog post would be the date I published the blog. I got surprised. It turns out to be the date I wrote the original entry. So now you know why we published so many entries for April 5 and 6.

Now about quirks in finding books at the book sale:
Today I was looking at the best seller lists. I was surprised to learn the Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert has been listed for over two years. The Washington Post has it on the paperback non-fiction list at over 120 weeks. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson has been going longer at over 150 weeks. That is amazing to me.

Both of these books are memoirs and selling them poses a challenge to us. The George Mason Friends have roughly 50 different categories for books for adults. The one category for adults we don't have is "Memoir" or even "Biography". We have found that people interested in History might be interested in biographies of historic figures. Therefore, we keep the books about Lincoln with American History and the books about Napoleon in Military History. Following that line of thought, the latest book about a celebrity would be in Performing Arts. So Melissa Gilbert's book Prairie Tale would be with the books about Acting and Dance. A book about Michael Jackson might be in Music and might be with Celebrity Bios.

Under this scheme, where would we put Eat, Pray, Love? We have settled on the category of Travel. Our reasoning is that Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about her time in Italy, India, and Indonesia. Therefore, the book is similiar in some ways to the books people have written about there time in south of France (Peter Mayle comes to mind).

Where would Three Cups of Tea belong? We are still struggling with that. Since we put a lot of politics and current events in the History section, we decided to try Three Cups of Tea in with the World History, which is where you would find other books about current events in Afghanistan.

Are you looking for a particular biography or memoir at the sale? Ask one of the volunteers wearing a GM Friends apron if you need help finding a category.

Come to our sale April 29 -May 2. Shop. Buy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

D. L. Moody Signature

One of the famous evangelists of the late 1900s was D. L. Moody. We have been given a Bible inscribed by him to someone in Baltimore. This is a well-used Bible but if you would like to touch something handled by D. L. Moody, then come to the sale. It should be in the display case on the left-hand side of the lobby.

We are hoping it finds a good home at the sale on April 29.

Books in French for sale April 29 to May 2

Do you read French? Are you studying it at school and would like something different from the usual literature? Consider coming to the book sale.

The pictured books are just a small sample of some of the fiction in languages other than English. I picked these because they are so varied in content.

We usually have books in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. There may be one or two books in various other languages as well.

Are you travelling this year? Consider getting a phrase book. Need to brush up on your grammar, check with us for that, too.

Don't forget to check the children's room for picture books in other languages.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wordless Books: What Good are They?

There are people at universities who study all sorts of things and provide scholarly sounding terms for their students to learn. The terms enable those in the field to have a standard vocabulary to discuss their field. To the rest of us, it is jargon.

In Early Childhood education, seven different areas have been identified as important steps toward Early Literacy. As my own early childhood was a long time ago, I didn't fully appreciate some of those steps when I was first told them recently.

One of the steps involves being able to tell a story. So, Jack and Jill did three things. Jill fell down. Jack fell down. They went up a hill. Now, most of us know this English nursery rhyme. We know I just put those events in the wrong order. A person learning to read needs to be able to tell a story and put the events in the right order.

The only words in this book are on the cover. The story is told by the pictures. Any words you put to them are up to you the reader. These stories can be told in any language. They can be shared by readers and non-readers. They can be used to get people to write their own words to the story. Would a child of five put in the same level of detail as a middle-school student?

The book pictured is one of the books that will be available at the sale starting April 29. Our room with children's books always has someone staffing it who can direct you towards items of interest to you. It can be a pretty popular place with shoppers, so strollers must be parked in the lobby. The Fire Marshall tells us that the strollers in the room are a safety concern.

Special Books for sale April 29 to May 2

The George Mason Friends have two large book sales each year. The spring sale will be April 29 to May 2. If you go into the George Mason Regional Library, you will see that one display case has many old children's books. These books are not listed on Amazon for sale. They will be on display until 5 pm Thursday evening when the sale opens. They won't be sold in advance of the sale. The only reason for us to remove the book from the case is if we find a problem in the condition of the book that we had not previously noticed.

I know the display includes two books based on Walt Disney's movie Fantasia. There are two books by Marguerite Henry. There are seven softcover books of Uncle Wiggily stories. One book is described as being annimated which generally means there are moving parts. One is a Golden Book from the time when Little Golden Books had dustjackets.

Easton Press: Aeschylus' The Oresteia

We are selling two different copies of The Oresteia by Aeschylus published by Easton Press. Both are bound in leather with gilt edges, moire endpapers, and a ribbon sewn in as a bookmark. The title pages give the same information. The way to tell them apart is by their covers designs. The books also have different heights and widths.

We have two separate listings on Amazon for these books because each listing comes with a sample of what the cover looks like. When I was preparing to list the book on the right, I was looking for the translator, and illustrator, and the author of the Introduction, I also found the Publisher's Note. At the end of the Publisher's Note, I found that the bookplate with a previous owner's name, had been pasted onto the blank space at the bottom of the page. The book on the left has no bookplate.

Easton used the translation by E. D. A. Morhead. The introduction is by Rex Warner. The illustrations are by Michael Ayrton. The book is part of the series of the 100 Greatest Books Ever Written.

Now, for my disclaimer about my abilities as a photographer. I think the photographs are in focus. I think a true photogrpher would be hardpressed to find any other redeeming characteristic. I know the colors aren't accurate. The paper appears too yellow. The bit of the satin bookmark that is showing is too yellow. The bit of the moire endpaper is too yellow. The book doesn't look straight; that is my fault not the book's. The list goes on and on. I hope the photgraphs do provide enough information for you to think the books themselves would be a good addition to a collection.

Easton Books: Virgil's Aeneid as translated by John Dryden

A potential buyer contacted the Friends asking for photos of two books we have listed on Amazon. We are happy to try to comply with such requests. Unfortunately, the query came so that we need to reply through Amazon. We learned that replying through Amazon, limits the size of the photographs you can send. We couldn't figure out how to get the pictures small enough. Therefore, we are blogging about these books today. If the potential buyer doesn't like what is shown, maybe someone else will.

The first book is Virgil's Aeneid. Like all of Easton Press's books, this one is bound in leather and decorated in gilt. The color is a steel gray. The design is very interesting. I have no idea of the meaning of this design.

Easton Press used the John Dryden translation of The Aeneid. The illustrator is Carlotta Petrina. It is part of Easton's series of The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written.

The photograph on the right is the front edge of this volume. If you look closely, about the center of the photo will be marks on the gilt. Below is a photograph of the top edge of the book. The gilt is unmarked. You can see the edge of the ribbon bookmark in this photograph.

In some of these books, on the copyright page, it will state that the books are printed on archival paper. I am not sure if this particular book has that statement. I do know that the copyright of these books is not a reflection of the publication date. I will explain more about that later.