Category Archives: Libraries

Well, Look What We Have Here!

My wife’s been gone this past week, visiting family back in Wisconsin. So, what’s an old book junkie going to do to pass the time but go book hunting at his favorite thrift stores and library book sales? Not too predictable, am I?

I won’t go into all the books I came up with, but I will brag about my favorite find of the week. Resting inconspicuously on the bottom shelf of the religion section at the Prescott Public Library was the complete two-volume set titled “The Gifts of the Child Christ: Fairy Tales and Stories for The Childlike,” by George Mac Donald, edited by Glenn Edward Sadler. It’s a collection of the shorter fairy tales and stories by this famous author who influenced such writers as C.S.Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. It was originally published in 1973 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., and the two-volume set cost $7.95 at the time. Can you imagine that? I’d hate to see what it would cost today!

I’d post a photo, but my wife has the camera. I’ll try to get a pic up here soon.


Posted by on September 7, 2014 in Authors, Book Hunting, Libraries, Old Books


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Captain Malcolm Reynolds

Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Photo credit: Jessica Finson)

I picked up an old issue of Parade Magazine that was lying around our friends’ house this past week, mainly because Nathan Fillion was on the front cover reading an old paperback copy of Peter Benchley’s “Jaws.” The cover was promoting the issue’s main theme of summer reading, which was the second thing that grabbed my attention. Parade’s cover identified Fillion as the star of “Castle,” but anyone with any knowledge of true classic television will know that Nathan Fillion is better known as Mal Reynolds, captain of the ship Serenity in the wonderful but regrettably short-lived TV series “Firefly.” The geek-boy in me back flipped in excitement.

It seems that Fillion is a big-time reader and has been ever since he was a kid. Even though he reads digital books because of his shooting schedule, he does love real books: “The smell, having it in your hands – there’s really no substitute.”

That’s my kind of guy.

It also turns out that some of his favorite books are some of mine as well. The series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin, better known by the title of the first volume “A Game of Thrones,” is a Fillion favorite. So are the Spenser books by the late, great Robert B. Parker. Fillion also stated that if they ever decide to revive the old “Spenser: For Hire” TV series, he’d be interested in the Spenser part. Yes!

On top of all of that, it turns out that Nathan Fillian is a cofounder of an organization called Kids Need to Read. This group donates books to libraries and schools who can’t afford to buy the books they need. You should definitely check these folks out.

As you can tell, I’m impressed with this guy. Not only is he a fine actor but he’s also a reader and a generous human being. That’s something anybody can get all geeky about!

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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in In The News, Libraries, Reading


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New Books Obtained!

New Books Obtained!

Just in time for Father’s Day, our local library had a “Huge Outdoor Book Sale.” Just read the flyer. It says so.

Needless to say, I scored some great books as you will shortly read about. But first, let me say “Thanks!” to the “Friends of the Chino Valley Library” for all their hard work in putting this sale together. They do this once or twice a year and I never miss it.

So, from the bottom up:

1) “Winding Quest: The Heart of the Old Testament in Plain English,” by Alan T. Dale (Morehouse-Barlow Co., Inc., 1973)

2) “The Hebrew Scriptures: An Introduction to Their Literature and Religious Ideas,” by Samuel Sandmel (Oxford University Press, 1978) Sandmel was only one of the greatest Biblical scholars ever.

3) “The Unvarnished Gospels, Translated From the Original Greek,” by Andy Gaus (Threshold Books, 1988) A translation of the Gospels that “lets the original Greek speak for itself.”

4) “Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief,” by Andrew Newberg, M.D., Eugene D’Aquili, M.D., Ph.D., and Vince Rause (Ballantine Books, 2002) According to the back cover, “explorations in the field of neurotheology.”  O.K. We’ll see.

5) “The People’s Bible: Revelation,” by Wayne D. Mueller (Northwestern Publishing House, 2002) A commentary on the Book of Revelation based on the New International Version of the Bible. Never my favorite New Testament book, so I figured I’d better learn more.

6) “Brewer: The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,” by E. Cobham Brewer (Wordsworth Editions Ltd., 1993) From the back cover: “This invaluable dictionary explains the origins of the familiar and unfamiliar in phrase and fable. It includes the colloquial and the proverbial, embracing archaeology, history, religion, the arts, science, mythology, books and fictitious characters.” The new and enlarged edition was published in 1894. This is going to be fun!

7) “The Weekend Book,” Francis Meynell, editor (Duckworth Overlook in association with The Nonesuch Press, 2006) I haven’t a clue. It caught my eye and then my attention. Best I can tell, it’s like one of those “bathroom readers” but intended for an English weekend. I’ll get back to you.

8) “Inspirational Library,” four small books of compilations; Prayers for all Occasions, Psalms and Hymns, The Parables, and Best Loved Carols. Illustrated by Janet Robson Kennedy (Blue Ribbon Books, Rudolph J. Gutman and Samuel Nisenson, 1949) Four small books with beautiful period drawings by Robson. For the pure, simple pleasure of owning them.

I’m a happy daddy. Happy Father’s Day!


Posted by on June 17, 2012 in Book Hunting, Libraries, Old Books


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A Sad Article About Libraries

English: View of the library at Kennet Compreh...

English: View of the library at Kennet Comprehensive School. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jon Reiner over at The Daily Beast has written a heart-breaking piece about the direction today’s large libraries are heading. Are they encouraging the reading of books or becoming yet more technology cafes? Please go here and read it.

What do you think? Are today’s libraries wandering down the wrong road?

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Posted by on May 27, 2012 in Libraries


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Good Book Hunt Today

While out and about running errands today, I ran by our local library as I am wont to do each weekend. They have an ongoing used book sale to help support their operations. I am a dutiful supporter!

Today I was rewarded with a nice hardbound copy of “The Abingdon Bible Commentary,” a single volume containing commentaries on each book of the Bible as well as specilaized articles on various aspects of biblical history, customs, languages and many other topics.


As you can probably tell, I am deeply interested in religious and theological matters, and this book was a nice addition to my growing library in this field.

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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Book Hunting, Libraries, Old Books


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Now THAT’S a Library!

Image Courtesy of Irish Welcome Tours' Flickr Stream

Image Courtesy of Irish Welcome Tours’ Flickr Stream

There’s been a bit of hoopla lately about creating a massive “digital library.” I don’t know about anyone else, but the concept doesn’t do much for me at all. Now, if you’d like to look at what some REAL libraries look like, follow this link over to Mental Floss and take a gander at some of the most beautiful libraries you’ll ever set eyes on.



Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Libraries


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