Tuesday, May 26, 2015

12 in 12 - Used Book Sales Galore

I look back about 3-4 years ago and I can't believe that I was a guy who just did not read books.  I enjoy the daily newspaper, I like a good magazine article and I love reading blogs (especially sports card related).  But I can honestly (and regretfully) say that up until a few years ago I went probably a good decade without really sitting down and enjoying a book.

That has most definitely changed.  I am constantly working on a title, albeit a little slow sometimes (but I've found flipping through more than one book at a time to be more uncomfortable than not) and I've really found enjoyment in spending time reading with my niece and nephew.

And of course, the collector in me loves to scour book sales for the hidden gems.  The month of May here in town is the hottest for just that.

I started off great even before then with a nice used book store find.  Once again, thanks to Captain Canuck for his pointing me in the direction of a used book store I've never heard of.  In it, this very recognizable title (to all you hockey fans).

What made the buy even better....

Yeah....money well spent.

Well, the month of May would bring with it a few more author-signed copies and more than enough pages to last me for a long time.

Take a moment if you will to check out some of the titles that are now on my "to read" list.

Ken Dryden's iconic book "The Game" is (in my opinion) a must read for hockey fans and sports fans alike.  One of the most well-written first hand accounts of the game of hockey and the dynasty-driven eras.

I need to re-read that one.

I knew that Dryden had written other titles, but had never heard of this one when I came across it during a garage sale day with my niece and nephew.

It's in fantastic shape and was very nicely priced at a mere twenty-five cents.

Oh......and it's autographed as well.

I couldn't get the change out of my pocket fast enough.

I've seen a lot of Dryden autos with personalizations on them.  This one is just screaming for a cut auto.  Maybe one day.  I do recall that I've already got a Dryden on the "to do" list.

The same garage sale had this pristine conditioned book about the history of the hockey stick.  Again, for a quarter I just couldn't resist.  I even have a copy of it already (it soft covered so this is definitely an upgrade).

And....you guessed it - it's signed.

Now, that said, a signed copy of a book is way more exciting when the author is a superstar hockey player as opposed to a newspaper columnist.

But still.

For the past couple weeks, I've been volunteering my time at  one of the largest charity used book sales in the city.

Unloading, sorting and organizing almost a million books over the span of less than two weeks makes for busy work.  But it was truly the most fun I've had volunteering in a very long time - if ever.

The non-profit organization running the sale is new on my radar (my sister had heard of them before) and their goal is promoting early literacy.  Making sure every kid has the chance to read - and have that reading be of quality.

I jumped in the deep end with both feet and haven't looked back.

One of the benefits of volunteering is that we were able to get first dibs on the book buying.  Now it's not what you think.  I didn't sign up just for the early bird buying.  But it's a nice perk.

I went the night before the sale and the day of and came home with a good selection of titles.

Satchel.  This cover just spoke to me.  On a normal day at a store, I probably wouldn't have bought this book, but when the money is going to charity...let's give it a go.

Sweetness.  Again, not one on my radar, but I just had to have it.  The book is in great shape and I have no doubt that one of the greatest running backs of all time would have an interesting story.

I don't have too many golf titles, but this one seems like a no-brainer.

I love the cover on this one.  Look at the old camera in the blurred background.  And the pink scarf....priceless.  Where's that look nowadays?

Hockey's Book Of Firsts.  I bought this with the sole intention of reviving my "Did You Know" segment on this blog.  A bunch of neat tidbits in this read.

I have this book - and it took forever for me to find locally.  I paid a good amount for it so I was crushed when I saw this copy sitting there.  I had to buy it.  It'll make for a good "here....read this" gift.

As a side note on this title, I started reading this book a number of months ago and found it hard to get into.  But it does list very high on all-time sports bios....so I'm betting it's a quality read.

Bruce Dowbiggin again.  I think when I picked up this title it was because I was stalled at just a few titles.  I wanted to buy a few more book knowing the money was going to a good cause.

This may be one that sits on the shelf for a while.

Taking a flyer on this one.  No clue who Moe Berg is but I saw the baseball card on the front and immediately thought "I must have this one".  I don't even know if it's fiction or non-fiction.

note: a quick Google search reveals that this book is fact-based.  Interesting.

This book was in really nice shape.  And Roger Neilson is a guy I know little about (other than the infamous white towel episode).

When I brought all my books home I realized I already have this one.  Oh well, I'm sure I can find someone to take my other copy.

This Dave King book is always in the library and never really intrigued me.  But again, it's a charity book sale so why not.

And when it's a signed copy, I'll take it on that alone.

Again, I love that it's not personalized.

Dave Bidini wrote one of my more recent sports faves, Keon & Me.  I'll pick up anything of his I don't have just to add to the collection.

Of course it's signed.

And by the way....if you ever sign a book, this is how you do it.

I finally drifted from the sports genre and grabbed this Keith Richards title.  One of my co-workers is huge into music bios and said this is one of the best.

I passed on a copy last year so when I saw it this time around, I grabbed it.

This was a book that just kept following me around the two days I was at the sale.

Grant MacEwan is an iconic name in Alberta history and John Ware is a name that is familiar with me too.  I went to John Ware Junior High.

But that's not why I bought the book.

Just for fun I picked up the book, showed it first to my sister, then my mom and every time I flipped it open and read a few sentences, it had me wanting to read more.

It didn't matter what page, what part of the story - it was interesting in the moment.

This might be the next title I read.  I'm that intrigued by it.

Lastly, I rolled the dice on this title.  I've heard very good things about it and while it's not completely fiction, it's not your typical biography.  It feels more like an adventure story.

So there you have it, new (old) books for the shelf.  And fresh titles to sink into over the next year or two......or ten.....or thirty.

I've got too many books.

What are you reading these days?  What's been the best title you've read of late?  Anything on the radar?


  1. I have that Hockey Firsts book... some cool tidbits in there.

    Odd, most of my labs at S.A.I.T. were in the John Ware building. Never knew who the dude was.....

    and don't worry about not getting to them all soon. It's the finishing, it's the cool looking shelf full of books that counts. ;)

    1. One look at my bookshelf and you know what I'm all about.

      I forgot about the SAIT building too. Lots of JW goodness.

  2. Awesome grabs on those signed books! Also, that Satchel Paige book is great!

  3. Nice haul of books.
    I have a book on the History of the Montreal Canadiens that I am looking forward to reading (I bought it a few years ago, but available time for reading seems to be scarce). Not really a big fan of the team, but the great players and championships
    should make for a great read.
    -Anonymous Paul-