Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lighthouses and Packaging

Keepers of the Sea by Fred J. Maroon and Edward L. Beach is a book about the Trinity House yachts and tenders. Trinity House is the General Lighthouse Authority for much of Great Britain. This book showcases the people and vessels employed to further its aims. This is a deluxe edition, without the slipcase. It is signed by the authors. It is like new except for slight shelfwear on the front cover and a small scrape on the spine. It is $15 at Amazon1.

For a young graphic art student or professional, this book, Packaging Graphics and Design by Renee Phillips could be a most welcome holiday gift. Full of advice and instruction, this copy is as new -- apparently never read. It is available at our Amazon1 storefront for $19.50.

Remember a couple of things for your holiday shopping:

  • Current Friends can get any of the books we display at Amazon1 or Amazon2 without paying shipping.
  • You can become a current friend by becoming a member. Just e-mail us to find out how.
  • The Holiday mini-sale begins in the New Books area of the Reston Regional Library on 3 December during regular library hours.
  • All proceeds of these sales are used to support Reston Regional Library programs in particular, and Fairfax County Public Library programs in general.
  • All books offered are donations to the library that were not needed for the collection.

Friday, November 28, 2008


That's right! If you come to the Friends of Reston Regional Library's Holiday Mini-Sale, you'll find super bargains and wonderful gift books -- but no turkeys! The books we save for the holiday sale are the 'jewels' of those that come in through the donation bin. Our elves work diligently with an eye for quality and giftability. So don't miss it -- December 3-8 in the New Books area at Reston Regional Library.

While you wait for the Holiday Sale to kick off, visit our Amazon1 site for these super books.

Americans is a series of photographs by Robert Frank. He took them while traveling across the country in 1955-56. The forward is by Jack Kerouac. Each of the photos stands alone as a testament to the time and place, but they also serve as a glimpse of the future. It is fun to look at them and see where we are today. Are we better or worse off for having lost some of the vignettes captured by Frank? This copy is $70 at Amazon1. It appears never to have been used. The dust jacket is perfect, although corner-clipped.

The mystery collector on your holiday list will be thrilled to receive this copy of Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness. A classic early science fiction winner of both the Nebula and Hugo awards; it appears never to have been read. There is slight soiling on the dust jacket, but it is now protected by mylar.  $70 at Amazon1.  A plot synopsis is on Wikipedia.

Current Friends of Reston Regional Library can e-mail us to purchase any of the books on our Amazon site, thus saving postage.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

They're Ba-ack!

Yes, our Amazon1 site is back up with books galore -- over 600 await your perusal! 

Twentieth Century Painting & Sculpture appears to be new, never read.  It is available for $35 on our Amazon1 site. What a nice gift for an art student, teacher, or appreciator of 20th century art.

The High Road to China: George Bogel, The Panchen Lama and the First British Expedition to Tibet sounds fascinating. This paperback appears new, never read.  It is available for $18 on our Amazon1 site and is the ONLY copy available right now!  There are some delightful reviews of the book on the web, one of the best is here.

Current Friends can get either or both of these books locally and avoid shipping. E-mail us to find out how.

Don't forget the Holiday Mini-Sale starts December 3 during regular library hours!  It will be in the New Books area of the library.  During the first four hours, the number of books purchased by any one patron will be limited so everyone has a chance to shop. We have many gift-quality books and will restock constantly, so don't miss this event!

Questions?  Comments?  Let us know what you're thinking!  Contact us here.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Source

There are lots of ways to celebrate the holidays in a less expensive fashion this year. Here are three from the Friends of Reston Regional Library:

1.  Visit our Amazon sites. We named them (oh so creatively) Amazon1 and Amazon2.  It is there that we sell some of our more 'niche' or expensive books. These are books that might go unsold or unnoticed at the Semi-Annual Used Book Sale. On rare occasions when you visit the sites, one of them may be inactive for a day or two. That is to allow our volunteers who run them to visit grandchildren, take a vacation, have a life, etc. It only lasts a short while, so check back. If you find something there that appeals, and you're a current member, we can save you the shipping. Contact us!

2.  Come to the Holiday Mini-Sale. December 3-8 during regular library hours in the New Books Section of the library.

3.  The Mark Twain 29 volume set is still available for $150. This is a beautiful set, truly of gift-giving quality. Contact us!

We are always interested in volunteers who have special gifts and talents who'd like to share them with us, and we love new members! If you have some time in your schedule to promote literacy, and make a difference in your community, we'd love to be on your list of worthy places to spend your time and talents.  Contact us!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Getting in the Spirit!

Why visit the Friends of Reston Regional Library Holiday Mini-Sale? To celebrate savings! Our volunteers have spent hours selecting, examining, and categorizing gift-quality donated books in order to provide our supporters with the best choices for this annual mini-sale. Patrons from past years can verify that the sale is worth visiting! You might just be able to finish your list in plenty of time for Hanukkah (December 21) or Christmas (December 25)!

There will be a limit on how many books any one patron can purchase during the first four hours of the sale. This is the only fair way to allow all patrons the opportunity to shop.

The sale will be held in the "New Books" area of the library, during regular library hours, December 3-8. Our faithful and diligent cashier, Vicki, will be on hand to take your check or cash. This would be a GREAT time to purchase a gift membership for someone you know who LOVES books. A regular membership is only $15 and allows the recipient to enter the Semi-Annual Book Sale the first night of the BIG sales (traditionally, Thursday) in April and September. Vicki will also be happy to receive any tax-deductible contributions you'd like to make to support the Friends in our effort to make your library a welcoming, well-provisioned place to read, study, meet friends, and enjoy BOOKS!

If you have questions about the mini-sale, membership, or the Friends, please contact us.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Quintessential Mark Twain

Holiday Gift Alert! The Friends of Reston Regional Library have the perfect gift for one very lucky person. We have received a donation of a complete set of the Oxford Mark Twain. Each of these 29 volumes (yes, 29!) are in excellent, never-read condition. 

When Oxford published them, they used the original printings of Twain's works to produce the pages of these volumes. Thus, the print on the page looks the way it did for Twain's original readers. The introductions and afterwards are written by various high-recognition literary figures of the 20th century including Toni Morrison and Kurt Vonnegut.

These photos are representative volumes of the entire set.

For comparison shopping purposes, consider that a complete set of 29 volumes runs from over $1500 down to $250 right now on-line.  Don't believe us? Click here to see the comparisons. 

We're offering this entire set for $150. 

To read a decent, honest review of the set from when it was first published, click here

We have only one set, and we will not sell individual volumes. If you are at all interested in this set, contact us immediately. At this price, in this condition, it will not last long. Do not wait!


Books Are Better Than Gift Cards

Several stores will be closing their doors forever immediately following the Christmas shopping season. If you planned to buy gift cards for people from these stores, DON'T DO IT! The cards may not be honored after the holidays.

Stores that are planning to close after Christmas are still legally able to sell the gift cards through the holidays even though they might be worthless after January 1. This is called "bankruptcy planning."  Some local stores are included in the list, including Linens N Things and Circuit City

But holiday joy overflows with Friends of the Reston Regional Library to the rescue!  Our holiday mini-sale starts December 3 and runs through December 8. We will have special books suitable for gift giving available for your perusal and purchase in the New Books area of the Reston Regional Library during regular library hours.

Here are some creative giving ideas:

  • give an FRRL membership to someone (a GREAT teacher gift!) Contact us to find out how to do this.
  • give a year-end tax donation to FRRL (a non-profit organization) in HONOR of someone special.You honor that person and support literacy programs in your own local community. Contact us to find out how to do this.
  • wrap a holiday gift in an old map
  • choose a literary character (ex. Curious George) and theme a package around it -- (ex. a stuffed George, a couple of his books, and some toy bananas, all served up in a yellow hat!)
Do you have holiday ideas that are creative? Share them with us! We'd love to hear from you.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holiday Hats, Everyone!

Time to put on your holiday hat, grab your holiday wish list, and think "SAVE MONEY" and "BUY GIFTS".  

In these times of economic stress you may be wondering how you'll be able to give gifts. The Friends of Reston Regional Library have an easy solution -- come to our Holiday Mini-Sale! We have been harvesting special books, gift books, holiday themed books, and generally books of a 'holiday gift giving quality' for months. Now YOU get the payoff!

In the New Books Area of the library, during regular library hours, December 3-8.

Note:  There will be a limit on the number of books per person in the first four hours of the sale. This is to enable everyone an opportunity to shop rather than one or two people cleaning us out! Please be gracious to our other patrons.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The conventional wisdom used to be that people were resistant to change. Maintaining the status quo was safer. But the election revealed that people think they want change. So, here's some change.

OOPS!  Wrong kind of change.  Let's try this again.

In the context of meaningful change, the Friends of the Reston Regional Library want to know what change you would like to see?  E-mail us with ideas, or use the comment link below this blog entry.  

  • Are there programs you would like to see Reston Friends sponsor at the library or elsewhere?
  • Are there needs in the community you see unmet?
  • Are there books or collections you'd like to find somewhere in Fairfax County but have thus far been unsuccessful?

The Friends exist to help the library help you. In order to do that we need two things. First, we need to know what you want. Second, we need some of you to help us provide that. JOIN US! We are a fun, interesting (you wouldn't believe the range of reading taste!), innovative group. We like to meet new people and new books! So e-mail us or comment to us! We're here to listen!

Bring on some good ideas!


Monday, November 17, 2008

More Money Picks

Jim Cramer has many fans and many detractors. He also co-hosts a successful TV show where they talk about the market. This abridged version of his book explains the methods behind his madness. It is read by the author so if you like his excited delivery style, you'll enjoy this.  It is available for $14 at our Amazon1 site.

Rich Dad's Increase Your Financial IQ by Robert T. Kiyosaki is full of great advice on how to stay ahead financially. This abridged version has been described as superfluous if you've read his earlier books but ideal if you are just starting out. $13.50 at our Amazon1 site.

The Friends' Holiday Mini-Sale is looming!  Make your list of who deserves a great gift book and come to the library on 3 December...more details soon.  We're still taking donations for this event. Donations for gift books need to be ... gifty. That means inscriptions to other people, torn dust covers, foxed pages, and other detractions are not appropriate for this event. The books do NOT have to be holiday themed. Thank you for supporting us!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Listen Up!

In these days of economic uncertainty, you need every bit of advice you can get! So strap on one of these audiobooks for your commute and listen up!

Grow Your Money gets high marks from reviewers, both ordinary people and those who claim to know something about finance. If you want a "back to basics" treatment or a gift for a novice, this is the book to get. Young college students will really benefit from this as they prepare to face a financial world that is a whole lot scarier than the one they grew up in. It's $16 on our Amazon1 site. It is unabridged.

Buffettology is read by Mary Buffett (former daughter-in-law to Warren). She is also the author of this compilation of information about how Warren invests. Available on our Amazon1 site for $14. It is abridged.  This book also gets good reviews, even in the abridged version. Ahh...if we all could only be as savvy as Warren, right?

Keep watching next week for more finance/investing books on CD to be featured here. Or go straight to our Amazon1 site to see what's there before they sell!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Being Thankful

One of the many volunteers the Friends of Reston Regional Library is thankful for is Nancy. One of the things she does is arrange our display case at the entrance to the library. Although each of the books in the case is for sale, Nancy goes above and beyond to make the display space seasonally appropriate and inviting.

As you can see, her current display is themed for Thanksgiving, and specifically, helping YOU fix the best Thanksgiving meal ever! There are at least three cookbooks on each shelf, loaded with yummy ideas and presentation tips. 

These books are all priced affordably, but we can't promise they'll be there when you walk in.  It is not unusual for Nancy to have a book bought right out of her hand as she is stocking the case! For library regulars, it is worthwhile to consistently make a habit of checking the front display case to see if the book you need for a hostess gift, teaching gift, or your own personal library, is waiting there calling your name!

photo by Darlene


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Without Electricity

In the midst of summer storms when the electricity is out, we often wonder what we would do if we had to go back to the pre-computer days. The blogger's husband has been known to pull out a slide rule that belonged to his father in order to show the children that it IS possible to calculate without a computer! Some skills are too important for our society to lose.

Long before personal computers, laptops and notebooks, engineers depended on a slide rule to help them calculate accurately. This text, from 1962, is a primer by Robert Saffold and Ann Smalley that will assist any budding engineer in understanding how the slide rule works and its applications in science, engineering, business and technology. The Slide Rule shows very little sign of having been used. It is clean and tight. There are small tears on the dust jacket and some shelf wear along the bottom. It has been price clipped. Get it for $30 at our Amazon1 site.

Current Friends can contact us directly to get this book without paying shipping.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Our 2008 Jigsaw Puzzle Mini sale has been a huge success! The first day saw the puzzles flying out the door and each day after saw more go. There are only a few left, so hurry in on Wednesday to get something that will lead to many quiet hours!  Your support has been fantastic. Thank you!

One of the elements that makes our mini-sales (and indeed our big sales) a success is the willingness of our "super cashier" Vicki. Vicki is a volunteer for the library and she also gives a lot of valuable volunteer time to the Friends. She likes to cashier and does a great job at it.  Not only is she accurate but she has the distinction of inspiring the most patrons to donate over and above the cost of their purchase. It happens every sale! Thank you Vicki!

Today is Veterans' Day and the library is closed in honor of those who have given up some of their personal freedom to serve the rest of us. One of the things military members serve to defend is our free and open society. In many countries, a free and open library system such as we have in Fairfax County is anathema to their governments. In others, libraries are reserved for the wealthy. Our lives are richly enhanced by those willing to go into harm's way. They deserve our respect as they try to help others around the world to receive the same blessings of liberty and freedom that we enjoy.

Thank you veterans!

Photos by Darlene

/kw (Thank you Pappy, Dad, and W!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

When in Rome . . .

Imagine a travel guide set in a time long ago, before two World Wars changed the landscape forever.  What a fresh view of a beautiful country and people would be yours, and what a great resource for researchers/writers interested in Italy before the wars.  This book, Italy (Peeps at Many Lands) by John Finnemore offers you that earlier perspective. This 1916 Edition is tight and the binding is in excellent shape. The previous owner's name is written inside and there are a variety of pencilled notes scattered throughout the text. Very affordable, this book is $14 at our Amazon1 site.

Ben-Hur, the classic tale by Lew Wallace, was first published in 1880. This copy is dated 1880. It is in very good condition for its age. There is a tiny amount of separation beginning at the title page, but otherwise it is tight and the text is umarked. There is evidence inside the front cover where a 1" round sticker had been, plus a price ($1.18) in pencil. It has some shelf-wear on the edges of the cover, especially at the spine. For someone who loves this story, this gift is priceless as it is. At our Amazon1 site though, it is $20.

As always, if you are a current Friends member, you can e-mail us to purchase these books directly, eliminating shipping. If you're not a member, join us by clicking the membership form link in the sidebar, filling it out, and sending it in with the appropriate check! We'd love to have you!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Very Special Holiday Gifts

We all know people on our list who have 'everything.'  While they usually appreciate receiving a gift from us, each year we wonder whether we could have found something that would take them out of the realm of a polite "thank you" and into the realm of "I can't believe it!"  These are two of those kinds of gifts!

Bran Mak Morn, The Last King, was written by Robert E. Howard. A fictional hero of the Picts created by Howard, Bran Mak Morn was immortalized in pulp fiction of Howard's day. This copy is No. 294 of a Limited Edition of 850. It appears to never have been read. The Dust Jacket is excellent and the slipcase shows virtually no wear. You can purchase it at our Amazon1 site for $540.

Another beautiful book from the past illustrates the life of famed illustrator, Tasha Tudor. Written by Tudor's daughter, Bethany, this portrait shows the setting and the process of Tasha Tudor's ability to draw on her imagination and the countryside around her to create the stunning works she did. It is no wonder she was a two time Caldecott Medal winner and that her works are collected around the world. You can have this 1981 copy of Drawn From New England by visiting our Amazon1 website. It appears never to have been read. The dust jacket is in mylar and is fine. We have it listed for $80.

Current Friends of Reston Regional Library can save the shipping by contacting us directly by E-Mail. Not a Friend? Click on the link on the sidebar to a membership form.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Holocaust Literature and Moshe Dayan

Elie Wiesel miraculously survived the Nazi death camps.  For ten years he was silent about his experience.  Finally, when he did write, no one wanted to read it. His 'overnight' success took twenty years, from 1960 and a book no one was interested in to 2006, when Oprah chose Night for her book club. Now high school students throughout the United States read this and try to understand so that the horror of the Holocaust can never happen again. This book encompasses his entire trilogy, Night, Dawn, and The Accident.  This copy appears to be unread. It is the 2004 printing, with a very nice dust jacket.  It is $45 on our Amazon1 site.

The second featured book (no photo, sorry!) is Moshe Dayan: Story of My Life, An Autobiography. Dayan was one of the first founders/leaders of modern day Israel, giving those who survived the horror of Europe a place to be healed and worth fighting for.  He was a controversial figure, but his influence on Israel is undeniable. His military tactics are worth studying.  This copy is signed.  It is $150 on our Amazon1 Site.

Current Friends of Reston Regional Library can purchase any book on our Amazon1 or Amazon2 sites, free of shipping, by e-mailing us.  By the way, these sites are worth visiting and trolling.  The blog can feature only a few of the books that are there -- and there are some truly unique offerings!  If you're looking for the holiday book that will stand out from the crowd of gifts, you'll have a great opportunity to find it on one of our Amazon storefront sites!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Puzzles Galore!

Get your brains tuned up -- it' PUZZLE TIME! Starting tomorrow and running for the next 5 days, the Friends of Reston Regional Library will be holding a Mini Jigsaw Puzzle Sale. This is a great opportunity to stock up for the cold and yucky days of winter that are ahead!

All puzzles are gently used and sold 'as is.' This means that we haven't counted to make sure every puzzle has every piece. Generally though, our customers in the past have been quite satisfied, so this isn't a big deal. One of our puzzlers said, "No guarantees that the puzzles will be able to be completed. But it could add an additional level of challenge to each puzzle."

We have jigsaw puzzles of a variety of types (number of pieces, subject matter, size).

The sale will be held in the front (new books) area of Reston Regional Library during regular library hours November 7-13. Remember though -- the 11th is Veterans' Day so the library will be closed.

Photo found on web without copyright info.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Truth in Advertising

We get all kinds of donations.  Some of them are damaged.  Most damaged books end up in the garbage because we don't have the ability to repair or restore.  However, sometimes a book is so valuable, we offer it anyway.  Unlike some merchants on sites like Amazon or Ebay, we believe in the principle of truth in advertising.  It builds credibility for us, and to be honest, it is the right thing to do. In that vein, today's featured book has some problems, yet for the right person, it will be a treasured find.

Girlhood Embroidery,  American Samplers and Pictorial Needlework, 1650-1850, is available for $52 at our Amazon1 storefront.  Note the description: Volume I only, no slipcase. Book is clean and tight but there is damage to the back cover as if a liquid was spilled nearby. The top of the appendix pages have been stuck together at some point, related to the damage to the back cover.  The rest of the interior looks new.  Dust Jacket is very good, with only slight shelf wear.

If you're a current Friends of Reston Regional Library member, you can e-mail us to purchase the book and save shipping.  If you're not a member, but you'd like to be, we'd love for you to join us! Check the sidebar for the membership brochure.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Library usage

Interesting article from the Washington Post here on area library usage. It's both neat and worrisome at the same time that libraries get used more in a downturn, especially since budget cuts are being contemplated for our county libraries.

Japanese Treats

Well here it is, election day.  After you've finished your civic duty, indulge yourself with the pleasure of one or both of these books.

The first, Japanese Supercars, by Terry Jackson, features very cool cars such as the 3000GT VR-4, Acura NSX, Mazda RX-7, Nissan 300ZX, Lexus SC400, and the Mazda Miata.  Just typing those car models makes me think back to some VERY cool cars!  The book contains histories and diagrams, is unmarked and tight and the dust jacket has no tears or tatters.  It was published in 1992 and is available for $10 at our Amazon1 site.

For collectors or art lovers, this book of Japanese Porcelain will delight the eye.   The book is like new, with no signs of use.  The Dust Jacket has slight shelf-scuffing, but no tears or tatters.  It is available for $28 at our Amazon1 site.

As always, current Friends of Reston Regional Library can contact us directly at to get the book locally, saving on shipping.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Rocky Mountain High

This book is rare and beautiful.  Shiro Shirohata is a veteran climber and world-class photographer.  His photos of mountains all over the world have inspired and taught.  Now you can have a first edition of his portrait of the Canadian Rockies for $52 by visiting our Amazon1 website.  Or, you can e-mail us at if you are a current Friend of Reston Regional Library and save the shipping.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mystery Abounds

The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett was first published in 1929.  This book says is is a Black Widow Thriller First Edition Stated.  It is hardcover. The book is clean and tight. The Dust Jacket has some tears but is now mylar-protected.  For a Dashiell Hammett fan or mystery buff, this is a great holiday gift!  You can purchase it through our website, Amazon1, or if you're a current Friend of Reston Regional Library, e-mail us and we'll save you the shipping. Reach us at  Price: $100


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Back in Time

In 1976, when this blogger was a young high school student, several "tall ships" visited Washington, D.C. for a short port of call before they headed to New York for the Bicentennial Celebration.  On our way to Maryland for an appointment, our family car got stuck about 3 cars back from the Wilson bridge as it opened to let the ship pass.  That day, everyone on the beltway within viewing range got out of their cars and stood absolutely enraptured at the sight of the Christian Radich of Norway majestically proceeding up the Potomac.  For once, everyone on the shores rejoiced at the inconvenience of the drawbridge opening as we shared something special and almost magical.

This book, Tall Ships, captures the magic and beauty of these tall ships.  The photographs and text are enlightening, but more than that, they draw the reader into this often challenging world of pitting sail against the elements of nature.  This book is still shrink-wrapped and available for $16 at Amazon1.

This book's title is thus: A description of Virginia House in Henrico County, near Richmond, Virginia,: The home of Mr. & Mrs. Alexander Wilbourne Weddell : together with an account ... the exterior and the surrounding gardens.  Virginia House is administered by the Virginia Historical Society.  It was originally part of a building in England, the origins of which dated back to 1109.  It was the site of historical events in the mid-1600's and at one point was the site of a visit of Elizabeth I.  By the 1920's though, the house was up for a demolition sale.  The Weddells bought it and part of it rebuilt in Richmond.  Today the house and gardens are open for tours.  The book is available for $150 at Amazon1.

Current Friends of Reston Regional Library may purchase books featured in this blog directly.  Please contact us at to save shipping costs.