The Planned Parenthood Book Sale is a perk of Midwestern living. It is held on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines April 16 (today) through April 20..
Scruffy bibliophiles and book scouts lined up eagerly, as though attending the premiere of a Star Wars movie. When the doors opened at 3, they made a mad dash inside. Well, semi-mad: this is Des Moines. They stopped at the door to pay the $10 entry fee.
I found some gems, even first editions. The prices are dirt-cheap: mine ranged from 50 cents to $4.50. I look for reading-in-bed copies in good shape. I found a lot of wonderful books.
I came home with a box-full Here they are!
A hardcover copy of Daphne du Maurier’s The Doll: The Lost Short Stories, originally published in periodicals during the 1930s. Price: $2.50.
A first edition of Gladys Taber’s novel, Spring Harvest. Price: $1.00. The film Christmas in Connecticut is based loosely on Taber’s columns for Family Circle and Ladies’ Home Journal. She wrote novels, nature books, cookbooks, and books about living in a Connecticut farmhouse. (I posted on two of my favorite Tabers, Country Chronicle here and Mrs. Daffodil here.)
A hardcover edition of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. $3.50.
A book club edition of The Deadly Decisions by Helen MacInnes, an omnibus containing two novels, Decision at Delphi and The Venetian Affair. $1.00
An Oxford paperback of Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo. $3.00. Just think, if I like this one, he wrote dozens!)
A Penguin of Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt. This is a replacement copy for a book that fell apart. $2.50.
A Book Club hardcover edition of Mary Stewart’s The Moon-Spinners, my favorite “Gothic novel,” as we used to call them, set in Crete, published in 1962. $1.00
A People’s Book Club edition of Mary Stolz’s Ready or Not. $1.00. The cover flap says: “Gentle, capable Megan Connor had long carried the responsiblity of making a happy home for her widowed father Fan, her sister Julie, and her brother Ned.” Then she falls in love apparently. Stolz was a writer of Y.A. ficiton. I couldn’t resist the end paper.
A paperback of Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys. I have long meant to read something by this Pulitzer Prize winner. $3.00
A paperback of Alice Hoffman’s Blackbird House. $3.00. I never got around to this one.
A Europa edition of Orange Prize finalist Deirdre Madden’s Time Present and Time Past. $4.00
Orange Prize winner Lionel Shriver’s 2007 novel The Post-Birthday World. $3.00. I loved her novel Big Brother and she generously give us a Q&A interview in 2013.
The black book is Herman Wouk’s Marjorie Morningstar ($2.50) and the red is John Buchan’s The Blanket of the Dark ($1.00).
A first edition of Louise Dickinson’s classic, We Took to the Woods, her autobiographical book about living in a cabin in the woods of Maine. $5.00. ANd I love the map on the end page.
Elizabeth Cadell’s The Waiting Game. She has been compared to D. E. Stevenson: we’ll see! $1.00
And a new unread Penguin of John O’Hara’s Ten-North Frederick, the winner of the National Book Award. $3.00
And, last , an unread paperback copy of H. V. Morton’s In Search of London. $1.00
Do let’s hope this keeps me busy for a while. I hardly think I need to buy another book this year. Ha ha!
I think I drooled over this last year. I would probably feel weak in the knees at the entrance and I only feel that way at book sales and antique shows. I love the cover of the Gladys Taber. Have you never read Marjorie Morningstar? I was a mere child but I loved it.
The sales are so much fun! We’ve been going for years, but I’m always very excited. The Taber is one of my top finds, I think. Somebody on Amazon is trying to sell it for $47. Can you imagine????!!! I’ll hang on to mine to read. I’ve never read MM, but I need some sheer entertainment.
Oh my – I think I would have a nervous breakdown at one of these sales and come out with a shopping trolley full of books! You have some wonderful finds, and what lovely old editions too! 🙂
One minute of nervous breakdown, then going through table after table after table of books! You have to sift through thousands to find the ones you want, or at least it seems that way, but I always come away with some good stuff. It IS exhausting, though. And as you can imagine, I didn’t get through very much of what’s there. So much fun!
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I always enjoyed Mary Stolz’s books. And I agree with those who put Elizabeth Cadell and D.E. Stevenson into the same category. They are both favorites of mine. Cadell often sets her books (or parts of them) in Portugal. But I don’t think The Waiting Game has a Portugal connection.
Mary, I haven’t read Stolz in years, but I do remember a book called Who Wants Music on Monday? two teenage sisters, one beautiful, the other studious, and that’s the extent of my memory. I very much like D. E. Stevenson, and was on the lookout for her books, but nothing this year. I started the Cadell last night and it does remind me slightly of Stevenson. (It’s set in England.)
Wonderful post! I love to read about good book sales & readers finding bargains. I like DES & have seen a few mentions of Cadell so I must read her one of these days. Open Library have quite a few of her books for loan. She’s one of those authors I remember from my library years ago (mostly in large print) but they’ve all been withdrawn & I don’t think she’s still in print. I wonder if she’ll ever be rediscovered as DES has been? The Gladys Taber looks terrific, I’d never heard of her although I’ve seen CIC.
We bookish people all like to read about bloggers finding books. Gladys Taber is wonderful, if you can find her. I don’t think any of her books are in print, but some of them are inexpensive online. I’ve read a bit of Cadell and it is sweet, though not as good as DES.
I have Stillmeadow something or other up in the attic unread. I read one Cadell and meant to read more so I’ll put her on the list. I remember liking it.
I enjoy Taber. Sometimes she’s good, sometimes she’s great. I loved Mrs. Daffodil, which our library still has! I really hope I’ll get hooked on Cadell, though this one is super-light
I’m so envious of this sale. I haven’t read Elizabeth Cadell in years, but inhaled all her books our library had. Marjorie Morningstar is so enjoyable, but it’s one of those books that I devoured and then proceeded to stew about for weeks. I’ve had ugly arguments with people about it. I’ve come to the conclusion that not liking Marjorie Morningstar is a little like not liking the tooth fairy…and that Herman Wouk drives me a little crazy.
Ooh, I’m so looking forward to MM! This came to my attention somewhere online, but our library has discarded it. It seems like a good summer book. No idea how I’ll respond to Wouk. The sale has a million copies of War and Remembrance but I wasn’t sure I wanted to take that one on.
Some wonderful finds, Kat. You know how I love a used book sale. But I can’t believe PP charges an entry fee. All for the cause, I guess. I would be totally overwhelmed with the selection. I can feel my heart pounding now just thinking about it!
Lucky you to find the Gladys Taber. I have made note of some of these titles and will be on the lookout for them. ‘We Took to the Woods’ looks great. I love a book with a map! Thanks for sharing your treasures with us.
The fee is only for the first day.:) Some years we find a lot, some less. It was thrilling to find Taber and Louise Dickinson Rich’s We Took to the Woods is a classic. On the basis of your liking Taber, you would probably like this.
My library has a copy of Rich’s “My Neck of the Woods” which I have checked out. It is a paperback but, alas, no map. I will give it a go.
I hope you like it! Sad about the map, though. 🙂