One Heck Of A Good Library Sale

- by Karen Wright

Paloaltovolunteers

Long time library friend John Burt (right) and volunteers.


By Karen Wright


I probably shouldn't tell you about this; there were too many people there as it was, but here goes, anyway. We were getting itchy feet last month and decided we needed a couple of days to go for a drive. I hadn't bought any new books for weeks and I jumped on the net to see what kinds of book sales I could find in the San Francisco Bay area. After all, buying books is a great (and tax deductible) excuse to spend a couple of days away from home. You can't say we book dealers don't know how to have fun!

So, I got to the Palo Alto Friends of the Library website and they had pictures of a lot of the very special books that they offer. Palo Alto, for you easterners, is where Stanford University is located, so the town has big bucks, an extremely literate community, and lots and lots of book readers who donate very freely to their Friends Store. Oh boy!

Lo and behold, as I perused the online selection of collectibles, I found a copy of a book I have been looking for the last ten years or so. It is called; "The Manly Art of Knitting" by Dave Fougner. The book is an actual manual on how to knit things like dog beds and horse blankets, not to mention rope hammocks. "Only a man would knit a hammock with shovel handles for needles and manila rope for yarn," says the blurb on the back; and the cover is priceless. The book is just a pamphlet, 64 pages, and very scarce, so now I'm caught in the age-old bookseller's trap; keep it 'cause I love it and it belongs with my Western Collection which includes Tom Mix's book about his horse, Tony, and my collection of Francis the Talking Mule books, or be a good bookseller and sell it. Meanwhile, our real, live Western Cowboy friend is going to get a framed scan of the cowboy-on-horseback-with-knitting-needles cover for his new apartment.

Well, on the strength of that one book, plus several others we found that looked HOT, I got very excited and my husband and I jumped in the ever-faithful Subaru and trotted off to Palo Alto. It is about six hours from our house (including lunch, of course) and upon arrival, we grabbed a room at good old Motel 6, ate dinner at Cibo's, which was good but not exceptional, and ended the evening at Trader Vic's for a glass of wine on their outside deck - it was a beautiful warm night.