September 17, 2012
If you have ever looked longingly at art books in museum stores or the big chain bookstores and decided that you simply couldn’t afford those wonderful color photos of art masterpieces, I have a suggestion. Last weekend Lawrence Public Library had one of its semiannual book sales. I told myself that I shouldn’t go because I had enough books already, but I am adicted to books the way I am to chocolate, so of course I went.
The sale is held in a big tent outside of the entrance to the library basement and in the basement as well. I picked up a few paperbook mysteries for travel reading and then moved on to look at the art section. The impressionists are my favorites and I found three books of impressionist paintings, each with some color photos of paintings I had never seen before by some of my favorite artists. Best of all, each book cost only $2 each. They were “Impressionist & Post-Impressionist Masterpieces: The Courtauld Collection.” I’ve never heard of this collection but I plan to read about it as well as enjoy the paintings. The second was “Corot to Braque French Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.” I’ve never been to Boston but now I can enjoy this collection at my leisure. I was so interested in the cover painting on the third book and some of the illustrations within that I quickly added it to my sack without even looking at the written part, although the title should have given me a clue, “Les Impressionnistes.” When I sat down in my chair at home to look through my find, I discovered that the book was all written in French.
Many libraries have similar sales, both of books they no longer need and books donated by their readers. The bargains are amazing. Somehow I don’t think Kindle is going to replace these any time soon.