Friends of the Library and Summer Book Sales

Categories // Books

Books For Sale at the Kiwanis Fair

You know you were from Basking Ridge if you spent the Fourth of July at Somerset Hills Golf Course watching the fireworks and Labor Day at the Kiwanis Fair walking around for hours behind Oak Street.

Summer brings out book sales by lots of Friends of the Library groups. Denver Public Library has one, Boulder Public Library has some, Western Reserve Historical Society Library had some huge ones, the Glenwood Springs Library has two, in the spring and fall, even the tiny village library in Basking Ridge had one. This library was so small, the sale was held in a booth at the Kiwanis Fair, three eight-foot tables set in U shape covered with books. 

In Basking Ridge the Kiwanis Fair marked the end of summer vacation and the beginning of a new school year. The parade down Finley Avenue kicked off the Fair which was held behind Oak Street School. I hope they still have it, the Ferris Wheel, dunking booth, animal shows, pony rides, antique cars, petting zoo, a fairway with ring tosses, baseball throws, games of chance, cotton candy, and other food that can not even be described. I never wasted my money or tickets on food. 

The Friends of the Basking Ridge Library had a single booth, one volunteer at a time and five or six boxes of books for sale. Some groups had double booths wide enough for four or five eight foot tables. This was a small one. I bought my first used book there. It was a book I had never read by one of my favorite authors, Janet Lambert. It wasn't from the popular Parrish/Jordan series, but from the Patty and Ginger series.

Janet Lambert's book Boy Wanted

The book, Boy Wanted, was beat to death, held together by blue tape, marked Basking Ridge Library Association and stamped DISCARDED on the inside cover. It had an oval Basking Ridge Library Association stamp on the title page along with another DISCARDED stamp, the acquisition number 15218 on the dedication page, the Basking Ridge Library Association oval on page 101 and the library check out card pocket on the back cover also had the oval and the DISCARDED stamp. I hadn't read this book and the title embarrassed me, but the author intrigued me so I carried that book around the Kiwanis Fair all day. It cost ten cents, one tenth of my spending money for the fair. Paperbacks were five cents. I still have the book, it was not one of Lambert's best, but it introduced me to a different series of hers.

I hope they still hold that fair, what great memories! The summer between fourth and fifth grade, I entered our eight year old wolf/collie mix in the dog show. I had seen the dog show the year before at my first Kiwanis Fair. I can't tell you what Rebel thought of it. I knew he was the best dog ever and would win, if I could just teach him to heel. Bless his heart, he let me walk him around and around a makeshift ring in our back yard that hot summer training him (or me). This was a dog who had moved with us through eight years in seven states, guarding four kids, learning new yards, neighborhoods and friends. What was I thinking? One thing no one explained to me until the day of the dog show was the difference between a collie with AKC papers and a collie/wolf mix off an Indian Reservation in Wyoming. Oops.

Rebel on Lurline Drive 

I encourage readers to frequent used book stores or check Amazon or other used book stores on the Internet for used books. Serendipity plays a big part in the books I read and the order in which I read them. If there is new book at the library fiction or non fiction I may pick it up because it's there. I very seldom put new books on hold. I buy a couple new books a year and loads more used books. I couldn't afford to do otherwise. Check out some of the used book stores in your town and on the net. If you find one book in a specific store on the net you like, check that same store for other books you might want. You are already paying the shipping and handling. Many small book stores charge the same for one or two books. Enjoy your summer reading choices.


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Ida Sherwood Bettis is my paternal grand mother. Aunt Clara is my great aunt. I can remember every nooks and crany of that house and yard...

Eric Bettis Eric Bettis 25. July, 2017 |

I would be happy to forward your name, connection, and email if you wish.

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