Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Thrift store Wednesdays: The Book of Knowledge

Photo found here.

One of the receiving guys brought an extremely heavy box into the sorting corner this afternoon, and asked, "Should I take this one right back out again?"  I knew what he meant--our thrift store has very limited space for encyclopedias, especially old-looking ones.  We checked with the manager--should we silent-auction the books, price them cheap by the volume, or put them out for recycling?  He took a quick look and said, "Recycling."

By that time I had had a better look at what was in the box, and realized that we had a complete 1923 (Canadian edition) Book of Knowledge, also called The Children's Encyclopedia.  I have become somewhat hardened to book recycling over the past year of volunteering, but I didn't want to see those books turned into cereal boxes or whatever they do with them.  I asked the manager what he'd take for them (in place of a recycling fee); he named a very reasonable price, and I brought them home.

You can see the contents of a 1930's Volume One here.  These books, as you'll find out if you browse online, are not your traditional alphabetical or by-subject children's encyclopedia.  They remind me of the old newspapers that the Melendy family found pasted up in their playroom, with articles like "Tribal Customs of the Sudan" (or, as Oliver pronounced it, "Tribble Customs of the Sudden").  A little of this, a little of that.  Animals, life in Japan, how to make cool things, Aesop's Fables, how steel is made, French lessons,  poems, and vintage photographs of Banff National Park.  Every volume has a bit of everything.

I found a few other books today, too:

Pirate Rock, by David Walker.  This one interested me mostly because it is a 1974 Scholastic printing, but instead of a TX code on the side, it says  "INC 316."  I don't know of any pre-ISBN Scholastic books that say "INC" on them, but I'll try to find out more.

Wife to Mr. Milton, by Robert Graves

The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes, by Iona and Peter Opie

Soul Proprieter: 101 Lessons from a Lifestyle Entrepreneur, by Jane Pollak.  That one, as you can figure, was for Mr. Fixit.

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