Archives For New Milford Library

This weekend July 13-15, 2012 is the annual Friends of the New Milford Public Library summer book sale (alert to nearby Connecticut/NY residents), and even after I cleaned them out of some great trade paperbacks,there are many bargains to be had. The sale is held in the New Milford High School on Route 7 in a large all-purpose room that has ample room for browsers. The books are very well organized on large spacious tables and very clearly labeled, and, more importantly, the labels are correct-there is no mixing of genres.

I picked up two copies of Bobbie Ann Mason’s In Country  (1993) to use with Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. This is a very popular text with many of the girls in Grade 11; The School Library Journal reviewed this text:

“Sam Hughes, whose father was killed in Vietnam, lives in rural Kentucky with her uncle Emmett, a veteran whom she suspects is suffering from exposure to Agent Orange. Sam is a typical teenager, trying to choose a college, anticipating a new job at the local Burger Boy, sharing intimacies with her friend Dawn, breaking up with her high school boyfriend, and dealing with her feelings for Tom, one of Emmett’s buddies….Her father’s diary finally provides the insight she seeks insight she cannot accept until she has visited the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.”

There were also five brand new copies of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. Obviously, this was a book assigned for a course at a local high school or read by a local book group. These five copies mean that we can continue the tradition and assign the reading for one of our courses! Publisher’s Weekly reviewed this book in 2001:

Determined to find out how anyone could make ends meet on $7 an hour, Ehrenreich left behind her middle class life as a journalist except for $1000 in start-up funds, a car and her laptop computer to try to sustain herself as a low-skilled worker for a month at a time..Delivering a fast read that’s both sobering and sassy, she gives readers pause about those caught in the economy’s undertow, even in good times.

This book sale always has a great selection of  children’s books. Last year, I met a friend with two small children of her own who was hauling out at least 100 titles; she had barely made a dent in the collection. This year my bargain was a set (3) of The Cat in the Hat books. There is a great lesson on the Read, Write, Think website for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) that explains Freudian psychology using this children’s text. The lesson is called Id, Ego and Superego and the Cat in the Hat and my students love looking at the pictures to see how the wild “ids” of Thing 1 and Thing 2 almost cause a disaster.

I spent $42.50 for two bags filled with books (38 total). As I checked out, I mentioned to a volunteer that I blogged about this book sale last year.

“Well,” she challenged me, “did you notice the books are all on the tables?”
I looked around. Sure enough there were no books on the floor.
“Last year, you complained about the books on the floor being hard to reach,” she continued, “So we put them all on tables!”
“Oh, I didn’t mean…” my voice trailed.
“When someone criticizes what needs to be fixed, we fix it,” she stated proudly.

So, go to the Friends of the New Milford Public Library Book Sale if you are in the area. This is a good book sale….made even better with better browsing tables!


Book Sale flier 2011

New Milford Public Library  in New Milford, CT, stages its annual sale run by the Friends of the New Milford Library in the cafeteria of the New Milford High School, usually the middle of July. This library has a very dedicated set of volunteers who make this sale a very easy sale to attend. 

There is an “early bird” charge of $5.00 for buyers before 10:00 am, but the crowds were still very manageable even after there was no admission charge to enter. This summer, there were a  fair number of used book dealers, but everyone had plenty of room to negotiate through the aisles-even those buyers carrying large, overflowing bags or boxes. Book genres were clearly marked with signs on the tables: non-fiction mixed with paperbacks and hardcovers; fiction divided onto mass-market, trade and hardcover tables. There was a much needed holding area based on the honor system. Several cashiers tables allowed volunteers to check out large and express orders easily.

Last year, I found many biographies and books about animals on the non-fiction tables. Cultural anthropologists could have decided in 2010 that New Milford was a town concerned about the lives of people and their interactions with animals. This year, however, the table labelled Parent/Child Books was overflowing, which could lead one to determine that there must have been a recent baby boom and that animals are of little current interest.

The trade fiction book section was divided into boxes set on low platforms. The made the books easy to see, but required constant bending to pick out a text. The books were not organized by author or title, which slows me down as I try to quickly scan for familiar covers. Standing next to a used book dealer plopping books quickly into a box only heightens my anxiety. “Was that a copy of The Road he just put in his case?” I’ll wonder. “Well, there goes a copy of Girl, Interrupted!” I’ll sigh and move away to the next box. Such pressure resulted in my almost overlooking three copies of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye on my first pass!

Found six nearly new copies!

The section of mass market fiction; romance, mystery, and science fiction, was more organized with author names clearly marked on boxes. There were also tables of hardcover which also were generally alphabetized-or grouped. Again, I wonder who buys all these James Patterson books?

This year, the section for older children (YA), which was also on low floor pallets,  yielded six new or gently used copies of Dean Hughes’s Soldier Boys which is $6.99 at Amazon  that can be added to my War Units in Grades 10 or 11. The book follows two young soldiers an American and a German at the Battle of the Bulge. The reading level is grade 8, but there are always some low-level readers who like this book. To complement these, I found three copies of Sebastian Junger’s Fire, $8.15 at Amazon  on the non-fiction table; Fire is the more grade 11 appropriate text.Found two copies-this is an "untested" book

Other “finds” included two copies of Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell at Amazon for $10.95 for the Coming of Age Unit. This harrowing adventure follows 16 year-old Ree Dolly through the Ozark Mountain territory of meth-labs and family land disputes. The book was recently made into a successful indie film centering on a very powerful female character. I have not “tested” this book with student groups, and I am interested in seeing how they like the book.

Will use in People in Conflict Unit for Grade 10

I also was happy to find three copies of The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad at Amazon for $13.97 for my People in Conflict Unit in Grade 10, and three copies of Julia Alverez How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents at Amazon for $8.93  for an Immigration Unit we are planning for next year.

Total cost of all the 17 copies books mentioned? $157.03 retail at Amazon or $14.00 used.

All told, I spent $193.00 for seven very full bags of books.

I am familiar with the many of book titles taught at area high schools and New Milford is a neighboring school. I was happy to pick up replacements for some of the same texts that we teach(Frankenstein, Animal Farm, etc). The woman who checked out my order was an English teacher who has taken time off for a family. She was excited about the selection and the number of titles I was able to get, “These are so interesting, and so much better than some classics in high school,” she claimed, “I would love to see how they [students] like them!” I am hoping the students will share her enthusiasm, but I do recognize that we English teachers get very excited about all books! A kindred soul.