Surprises While Preparing for our Book Sale!

Sharing this post with Claudia at A Favorite Thing

There is a fantastic book sale in our town. Over 20 dedicated volunteers work year-round to sort, organize, and price the 70,000 books for our annual sale. This gently-used-book sale is one of the largest in Ontario and draws people in from far and wide. There are no restrictions on the number of books you can purchase, and with over 40 different categories there’s sure to be something for you! All proceeds go to the Elora Festival. Complimentary Fair Trade coffee is provided by the Centre Wellington Fair Trade Working Group. Each year I plan on organizing books for this event, but it was only this year, my 16th year here, that I finally made arrangements to donate some oldies.


My friend Elizabeth and I spent a dusty afternoon in our barn a few weeks ago, going through amazing books retrieved from my parents’ former home years ago. Elizabeth was given the chance to take whatever spoke to her, and among her favorites were special books from Mom’s Japanese collection.

As we unearthed treasures, I discovered some things that I didn’t even know were there! A book on Japanese pottery went to a friend from my book club, and her husband now enjoys a book of Gothic miniatures.

Items of  sentimental value were a real surprise to me. First I found a small spiral bound album of photos from the last trip we took with my father to Algonquin Park.May1-2013CJBAlbum

Then I found a copy of one of his books on Montesquieu. May1-2013CJBbook3

I also found a very small and very old leather bound book.May1-2013CJBbook2.7

See if you can read the date of this one!May1-2013CJBbook2.5

Another book written by my father was also leather bound. I only had that one in paperback.



Of course I must keep these things…

Among my mother’s things was a small travel diary of one of her trips to Japan.


May1-2013BIBdiary Another find was a copy of Sesshu’s Long Scroll with a wooden cover.

May1-2013BIBscrollIn her later years, my mother began learning Japanese so that she could read Japanese poetry, so I am keeping one of her Japanese poetry books as well. This one is called The Little Treasury of One Hundred People, One Poem Each, compiled by Fujiwara no Sadaie (1162 – 1241). (Translated by Tom Galt)



What a day we had dusting off books. I certainly hope the people who purchase some of this collection are happy with their finds!



I left my heart in Haiti… They tell me I’ll never get it back! Do visit updates here as well!


About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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11 Responses to Surprises While Preparing for our Book Sale!

  1. Alice Jordon says:

    Marie, your parents must have been very special people. I enjoyed learning a bit about them.

  2. Jack says:

    What a fascinating family you had, and what wonderful books to remember them by.

  3. Debra says:

    Amazing treasures, long forgotten and now found….what a lovely post! 🙂

  4. Diane says:

    Very amazing is right! Looks like a fantastic sale too!

  5. How wonderful that you found those special books — your mother’s travel guide is especially beautiful.

  6. Sheila says:

    Marie, I so enjoyed reading this. What a treasure trove you found in your own backyard! I am guessing that the book was written in 1759? I know it’s old, though, and a marvelous find.

    I loved seeing the picture of your father in that beautiful setting as well as the one of your mother. And was your father a famous chef? I “think” the book title in French says THE TASTE TEST. I cheated and googled it. 😉 Love that you found your mother’s diary (it is lovely), the fan, and the other treasures. You were sweet to gift your friends with books they would like.

    I would love to go to that book sale. What a wonderful opportunity for people to buy books and help the community. I’m assuming the proceeds go to the arts, is that correct?

    Hope your weather is being kind to you in Ontario. I talk to my friend Claudie periodically to check on her, and she gives me updates. We have rain, rain, and more rain in Florida right now, but I can’t complain. It is good for replenishing the aquifers.

    Dropping by from Claudia’s blog party and enjoyed my visit with you.



    • Google fails again! No, my father was a professor and author who was a specialist on Montesquieu, a French social commentator and political thinker who lived during the Age of the Enlightenment.

  7. Such wonderful and amazing books! I am glad you found some to share with friends, some to keep and some to donate!

  8. Regula says:

    Wow! This book sale is amazing! I’d love to visit. Have a nice weekend. Regula

  9. Claudia says:

    Your parents sound like they were most interesting! What treasures you found!
    Gosh, I’d love to visit your book sale!

    Thanks so much for joining in this week.


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