Book Scouting Under the Tents – Skaneateles and Clinton, NY

A few days ago we took a road trip to beautiful Skaneateles, NY to attend the Skaneateles Library Book Sale, held every summer under a tent on the library grounds.   The weather was hot and sunny (as it has been most of this season).

Skaneateles Library Book Sale 2012

Here is a scarce book we were lucky enough to find there; we had two Los Angeles buyers eager to obtain it within twenty-four hours of our return home.  Unfortunately we could only make one of them happy.

Picture People, by Olga Rosmanith (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Doran, 1934)

It is a first edition of a novel written by Olga Rosmanith in 1934 about an ambitious starlet’s rise and fall in the capricious swirl and glamour of Hollywood during its golden era.

Skaneateles is a lovely town situated at the top of Skaneateles Lake – one of the prettiest Finger Lakes just south of Syracuse, NY.  It is a bustling place in the summer, with a small public beach right in town, lots of interesting unique shops and places to dine.

Public lakeside park, Skaneateles, NY

We had dinner at the Sherwood Inn, always reliable for good food.  This year we spent the night at  Finger Lakes Lodging, which is under the umbrella of Mirbeau Inn & Spa, and located just across the highway from the main Inn.  Finger Lakes Lodging offers very reasonably priced rooms with an Adirondack flavor, right on the edge of town.

Finger Lakes Lodging – Skaneateles, NY

In the morning we took about an hour’s drive east to Clinton, New York, where the Kirkland Library was holding their annual book sale on the village green.  The “green” was rather brown this year, due to the drought we have been experiencing.

Kirkland Library Sale on the Village Green, Clinton, NY 2012

Here is a first edition of a book by James Thurber which we purchased at the Kirkland Library Sale:

The13 Clocks by James Thurber (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1950)

Written in 1950 and illustrated in color by Marc Simont, it is a cheery, philosophical book that is written in the style of a fairy tale.  It is fairly scarce in nice condition in the first state (illustrator’s name incorrectly spelled “Mark” on title page), and in a clean unclipped jacket.

Berry Hill Books in Deansboro, NY is only about five miles south of Clinton on Route 12B, so after scouring the sale and lunch at Alteri’s, we made our requisite stop there.  Berry Hill has thousands of vintage books in their multi-level barn.  Among our finds were a couple of novels in lovely old jackets.

The Street of Seven Stars, by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Venus In The East, by Wallace Irwin

We were home again by Friday evening, dragging garden hoses for the umpteenth time to water trees, lawn and flowers as we try to limp through this dry spell.

And this morning I awoke to the glorious sound of rain pattering against the window.  It became a good drenching downpour, and lasted for an hour or more, ceased for a little while, and now we have a nice steady rain again.  I can visualize rivulets of water trickling into the empty wells, and toward the thirsty roots of trees. Blessed rain!

We had delightful visitors from New York City in our book shop today – Nahum Waxman and his wife Maron, proprietors of Kitchen Arts & Letters, Inc., 1435 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY.  They were on a “bookman’s holiday” from their store which has been established for more than 25 years and specializes in books on the culinary arts and food writing.  Both of the Waxmans have a background in publishing.  It was fun to talk with them, as they seem to enjoy road trips to visit historical areas and book shops as much as we do!  We were delighted to learn they carry WPA guides with them on their trips, and use maps rather than GPS to find their way.

If you just want to get from point A to point B, GPS is great.  But if you are touring, and curious at all about the ground you are covering, GPS leaves you blind to the fun and  interesting places that might lay just off the beaten path.  A map gives you a better idea of the lay of the land, and the alternatives at your disposal for getting from A to B.  Maps help you visualize where you’ve been and how you arrived there.  The big picture, you know?  There were piles of old maps for sale at the Clinton Book Sale for a dollar a piece — with a sign suggesting they might be used as wrapping paper!  I hope some of them were purchased for framing.  We need to look at more maps.

Happy travels!

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Glad to see you had the chance to attend our book sale in Skaneateles this year. It’s one of my favorite yearly outings! So many treasures waiting to be found.


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