One of the occupational hazards of being a bibliophile is that you're a sucker for book fairs.
The Friends of St. Charles County Library held their annual book fair at the St. Charles Convention Center this weekend, and we made two trips. The first was opening day, when hardbacks were $2 each and paperbacks were 50 cents.
On that day, Christy, Lindsay, and I made a haul of twelve books, including...
- Selected Writings of Washington Irving
- John Milton's L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Comus and Lycidas
- Gray's Anatomy
- The Outline of History by H.G. Wells
- The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
- St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica
- Dante's Divine Comedy
Yes, it was a good day.
Then came the final day of the fair, when Joshua and I went back for the $10-for-all-the-books-you-can-stuff-in-a-box closing sale.
What did we snag for a dead Hamilton?
- a William Faulkner collection
- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
- The Pocket Book of Great Detectives with stories featuring Father Brown, Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, C.A. Dupin, and Lord Peter Wimsey (and Alfred Hitchcock wrote the preface!)
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- Corrie Ten Boom's Prison Letters
- John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
- a couple of Shakespeare classics in Julius Caesar and Henry V
- a Russian classic trifecta in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, and Tolstoy's War and Peace (might finish those in 2025!)
- A Man for All Seasons (clearly I'm a St. Thomas More fan)
- JFK's Profiles in Courage
- Brave New World by the provocative Aldous Huxley
- Martin Luther's Small Catechism and a separate German grammar for Josh, as well as a decently recent American history textbook for this school year
- Greg Laurie's Why Believe? for some Christian apologetics grist
- Modern Times by Paul Johnson
- Thomas Keneally's Schindler's List (yes, the novel that became the bestselling movie)
- Anthony Trollope's Barchester Towers
- a collection of Victorian poetry
- Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- J.R.R. Tolkien's Unfinished Tales
and finally and happily...
- Blaise Pascal's Pensees
Best ten dollars ever spent.
If you're ignorant of book fairs, you don't know what you're missing. In a world that is becoming less and less historically, culturally, and functionally literate, people need to get out there, maximize their personal libraries, and rise above the tides of ignorance.