Thursday, September 4, 2008

Recycled Books

The past weekend we took the girls to the Egyptian Museum in San Jose. Have you ever seen a mummified gazelle, baboon or cat? Among the many artifacts were a couple of human mummies too. My oldest didn't want anything to do with even the word mummy. I suppose that's understandable. Maybe it will be more fascinating when she's older.

Near the museum on the Alameda is a dusty shop
called Recycled books. And it's piled high with used books. The sign on the front door says, don't let the cats out. OK then, I had to investigate the kids' books and walk sideways through the front door.

Here's what I found:

A first edition hardcover signed copy of Fritz and the Mess Fairy by Rosemary Wells. I wonder who "Michael & Meredith" were? Well I have their book now. We are big fans of Max and Ruby and really anything by the great Rosemary Wells.

A library-bound copy (in new condition) of, The Genie in the Jar by Nikki Giovanni and illustrated by Chris Raschka. It was probably in new condition because most elementary school kids wouldn't really get Giovanni's rhythmic poem, but Raschka's illustrations are to melt over.

The day after our museum adventure was pretty uneventful except that the Lutheran Church near our house had a book fair, and I like a treasure hunt. So, here's what I found for all of $1.80:

A discarded library hardcover of Happy Hanukah Everybody by Hyman and Alice Chanover with illustrations by Maurice Sendak. This book is in very good condition. Could it be that Hanukah books are not as popular as Christmas books in our little agricultural town? Kim this book is a gift for you. It's classic Sendak. That little fuzzy bear looks like it's ready to jump right out of the picture. Oh and it reminds me of New York in the winter.

A 1967 hardcover edition of Tasha Tudor's illustrated First Poems of Childhood with a slight old book smell but otherwise in excellent condition. And mom this one's for you because I know how much you love Tasha Tudor. You may already have it???? It's pure Tudor sweetness.

And lastly, because it's so quirky, I brought home a little Scholastic paperback from 1968 called, A Tiny Family by Norman Bridwell. It's still in print as a level 1 Reader but the newer edition is now colorized and a different, standardized size.

Well, that was my lucky Labor Day weekend. You never know what you'll find at a church fundraiser or dusty used book store because there's always some lost book waiting to be found and read again. Kind of like a mummified cat isn't it?


  1. Ohhhh we will LOVE that book with the classic Sendak illustrations! Yes! The image reminds me so much of our cozy apartment on East 10th St./Lower East side in the winter!!! Remember that? :)

  2. I do remember*** with your cold-blooded iguana and the phone ringing off the hook at 3:00 am. It was tropical cozy : )


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