If you’re reading this, chances are you love books. Perhaps you can’t live without them because of the myriad worlds, characters and ideas brought to life within their pages; maybe you treasure the smell, shape and feel of them and believe, as Cicero purportedly did, that “a room without books is like a body without a soul.” (In ancient Rome they were more like scrolls, but we get what he’s saying.)
I suspect that with most book lovers, the passion has a variety of origins. For me, it’s partly genetic (both of my parents were collectors with vast personal libraries), partly academic (English lit majors, represent!), and partly aesthetic (I’m a sucker for a marbleized endpaper and a gilt-lettered spine). Add historic and nostalgic to the list, and you know pretty much all there is to know about my love affair with the printed page.
It’s no accident, then, that I ended up working in the book sale room of the Main Library here in Burlington. One of my duties is to comb through the hundreds of books donated to the library every week and decide whether to keep, sell or recycle each one of them. It’s (very often) a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it — and this old book lover wouldn’t have it any other way.
In my five years at the library, I’ve amassed a veritable trove of vintage and antique books. Maybe you’ve snagged a nugget or two (or twenty) at one of our semi-annual book sales. But I’ll let you in on a secret: I’ve been holding back. Which brings us to the matter at hand.
On Sunday, December 4, at the Main Library, 1786 Burlington Pike in Burlington, we’re presenting a very special event at the Main Library: Antique Affair — A Celebration of Books as Objects of Beauty and Creative Inspiration. The main attraction will be an antique and vintage book sale, featuring titles dating from the late-19th to the mid-20th century. There will also be a large selection of holiday-themed children’s and adult books, as well as books specifically offered for crafting and displaying. (All books will be priced between 25 cents and $5 per volume; Library Bucks will not be accepted for vintage books but may be used for all other purchases.)
In addition to the book sale, we’ll have tons of ideas for using books as decorative objects, including unique ways to display books, cute and clever book crafts and holiday decorations, and even a few book projects to try your hand at. And to keep things high on the festive meter, we’ll have Christmas cookies and hot cocoa, and even a few costumed literary characters strolling about. There will be holiday piano concert at 2 p.m. under the dome and Boone County High School Choir will perform at 3:30 p.m. on the second floor stage.
So if, like me, you can’t resist an old book, a decorating idea, or a festive soiree, add BCPL’s Antique Affair to your calendar today. If there are book lovers in your life, it’s the perfect place to knock out your holiday shopping. And who knows — you might even run into Elizabeth Bennet or Lady Grantham while you’re there…
Sunday, December 4, 1-5 p.m.
Main Library, 1786 Burlington Pike, Burlington
Jenny Walsh has been BCPL’s Purveyor of Unlikely Treasures (read Circulation Assistant — Book Sale Room) since 2011. She, her husband and their four children moved to Boone County from Long Island, NY, in 2007. In addition to books, Jenny gets pretty excited about gardens, travel and old houses.