Book Sales and Tourism Do Mix in the Berkshires-Stockbridge, MA

July 9, 2011 — Leave a comment

I just returned from the book sale at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where one can combine a morning of book hunting with an afternoon of theater and dining in the Berkshires….a cultural summer playground!

The Stockbridge Library host its annual three-day book sale, a tradition under the tent, on the front lawn of the Library in July on Main Street in Stockbridge, MA. The parking is tight (although we were lucky to find a spot right on Main Street), and the traffic to and from the library slowed to a crawl with a mix of summer visitors and locals.

The sale is clearly visible with large tents and a dozen or so tables. The books are well organized into clearly labeled boxes; genres are clearly labeled above the tables with signs. The only complaint I have on this particular sale is limited to the stacks of boxes under the tables that should have been unloaded and boxes on the tables continuously refilled. Many patrons were forced to crouch to see what books were hidden, and there were boxes on top of each other which made for some serious gymnastics. I was impressed by the nimble young mother who was able to negotiate the boxes underneath while carrying an infant strapped to her chest! The checkout system, however, was superb. Book prices are penciled in on the first page of each book, and prices range from $0.5 to $3.00.  The volunteers had prepared forms to record the tally of book prices. We spent a total of $143.00 and purchased 82 books.

Before attending the sale, the junior teacher and I agreed that we did not need any additional copies of Cold Mountain or Snow Falling on Cedars…we left several of these on the table. She was looking specifically for Prep by Curtis Sittenfield, a coming of age novel that she used with some success in the Coming of Age unit. She found five copies-one a hardcover-and also copies of:
Core Texts

The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Literature circle books

The Color Purple
by Alice Walker
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Nickled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Summer reading

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

The “find” of the afternoon was a copy of Oliver Sacks The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. The psychology teacher has been looking for extra copies.

After the sale, we traveled to Shakespeare and Company in Lenox to see Two Gentleman of Verona in the Bernstein Theatre. There is not a bad seat in this small theatre, and the production was clever with modern twists and very lively. Books and paraphrased Shakespeare…..”Then to book sales let us sing, finding books is excelling”….a wonderful summer vacation day for two English Teachers.

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