Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Haul: VNSA Book Sale, Part the First

In Phoenix, on one weekend in February every year, the Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association has a huge book sale. There are drop boxes located around the city to collect donations of books for the sale throughout the year, and people can arrange to have donations picked up from their homes. The profits from the sale go to charities, so you can pick up a few new books and help out some worthy organizations at the same time! I’d heard about the sale a lot when I was growing up, but the timing was never right for me to attend until last year. Now that I’ve been, it will be something I always look forward to—used book heaven! The VNSA sale is truly massive (they hold it at the state fair grounds), and you never know what will turn up there. And if that’s not enough, it’s all dirt cheap! Like $.50 - $1 for paperbacks, $4 for hardbacks. VERY CHEAP. To sweeten the deal even further, on Sunday everything is half-price. Madness! The exhibition hall, still smelling faintly of farm animals from the fair, is full of tables labeled with any and all sorts of book topics, ranging from the general (“children”) to the strangely specific (“secret societies”). Last year I only managed to plumb the depths of the cookbook section before getting overloaded by all the books and people, but this year, I and my book-nerds-in-crime (my mom and a friend) had more strategy—we arrived right at the opening time of 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, hoping to beat the crowds and have a better selection, AND we brought a rolly cart for transporting our finds. Genius.

And boy did we adopt some homeless books! I didn’t spend much time in the cookbooks this year, as I’m still cooking my way through all the ones I picked up last year, but I did manage to trawl through WAY more sections than I did previously (but still probably not even 1/4 of what was on offer!). My mother and I have a bit of an obsession with old children’s books, so I spent an inordinate amount of time in that area. I love the funny titles, the cover design, the cool art inside…they just make me smile. Here are some of the ones we picked up as we burrowed through the kids’ book stacks this year:

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Cute drawings!

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My mom enjoyed the Happy Hollisters when she was a kid, and I liked the Maya glyphs inside the cover!

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This one is apparently from Starbucks, but the drawings are cute and I couldn’t resist a book about a mouse who writes stories with his tail.

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I’m not sure Horatio Hornblower counts as children’s literature, but that’s where I found this one hiding. And it’s from 1939!

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The title amused and intrigued me, and I love the goofy little pigeon drawing.

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The illustration of a little black and white dog (a known weakness of mine) running pell-mell alongside a horse charmed me.

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This one is admittedly a little worse for the wear and I’m not at all confident in my ability to piece to dust jacket back together, but I really like the art style on what remains of the cover and the illustrations inside.

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I really like the sketch-like quality of the cover art of Snowflake, although the religious allegory of the story that I picked up on when flipping through it isn’t really my thing. Through Darkest Adolescence is a basically a book of humorous essays about how horrible teenagers are and gives advice on how to handle them, with crazy illustrations like the one on the cover. Really, really funny, and now when I’m told what a horrible teen I was I can fire back that apparently in the ‘60s they were just as bad!

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Folktales + cool cover design = instabuy.

Fifty cents to a buck apiece! It’s madness! And this was before I hit any of the other sections…

What are some of your favorite children’s books?

1 comment:

Susan said...

YAY children's book rescues! I think I read Freddy the Pigeon and the Happy Hollisters books when I was younger because they look familiar. Is the Ghana folk tales book being read now for BINGO?

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