Bayswater's Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor Blog

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

From Germany to New Hampshire

     If you have read some of our past “Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor” blogs, you know that we are always game to conduct any type of research that helps us to learn about our discoveries.  This week, however, provided our most challenging quest yet: translating German to English. Yes, our find this week is from Germany!

     Nestled into the pages of Anita Shreve’s 2013 paperback copy of “Stella Bain” was a ticket to SUC Bus Und Aquaria Gmbl. Translation?  In case you are not fluent in German, (and we certainly aren’t), we discovered that SUC Bus Und Aquaria Gmbl is an indoor/outdoor facility in Coburg, Germany, that boasts large swimming pools, waterslides, comprehensive diving facilities, saunas, wellness centers, and more.  In fact, for short, they are known as the SUC Aquaria und mehr, which means “aquarium and more” in German.  The ticket cost 1.60 euros (about $1.90 in dollars) and was purchased for one time use by an individual who visited the facility on August 8th of 2017.  What a journey that ticket has been on to get here to New Hampshire!

    
     What is particularly interesting about SUC Bus Und Aquaria Gmbl is its location.  Coburg, Germany, lies in the foothills of the Thuringian Forest and is located 80 miles west of the Czech border.  Unlike many areas of Germany, Coburg was barely damaged in World War II and as a result, it still contains most of the original historic buildings and castles, making the town a popular tourist destination.  We found it slightly notable that with all of the castles, theaters, historic parks, museums and churches to see, the individual who visited Coburg chose to go to the water park.  Maybe they had already experienced enough history for one day.

     We would be remiss if we didn’t tell you, though, that Coburg’s biggest claim to fame is being the possible birthplace of…wait for it… the hot dog.  Though The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, that really exists) claims that Frankfurt, Germany, is the birthplace of the hot dog, this claim is hotly disputed throughout the country, as many believe that a butcher in Coburg created the classic (some valuable trivia for you, right there).

     Shreve’s “Stella Bain” is for sale here at Bayswater for $4.99 and includes the ticket in German.  Perhaps you can do an even better job of translating it all!  Just a reminder that we will be publishing one blog at the beginning of each month only during the winter months, but you can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook.  Better yet, stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Who is Who?

     Do you ever catch your mind drifting while you are reading a book?  You know, one minute you know what is going on, and the next minute you have no idea who is speaking or how a character is related to the story?  It happens to all of us and this week’s “Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor” was designed for just those moments.

     Our find was discovered in John Hersey’s 1950 book, “The Wall”, which tells the fictional story of 40 men and women who escape the Warsaw ghetto in the early 1940s.  Tucked into the front cover of the book was a small booklet written 67 years ago entitled, Cast of Characters.  The booklet lists the 60 characters that are in the book, along with their nationality and relationship to other characters.  Yes, you read that right – there are 60 important characters.  There are Officers of the Jewish Council, Leaders of the Underground Groups, Leaders of the Jewish Fighter Organization, and many other character groups. 

     Interestingly, at the top of the booklet, the author of the booklet wrote that “because of the unfamiliarity of East European names, readers of “The Wall” may find this occasionally useful for identification.”  Occasionally useful?  We don’t know about you, but with 60 characters, we think that this booklet would be strapped to our sides at all times during the reading of the book.  One brief drift of the mind and we would be in for a long reference check in the handy dandy booklet.  Heck - that would most likely happen without the stray of mind!

     Ironically, a review written in April of 1950 (as the book was first published) praised author John Hersey for “concentrating on a manageable group of characters.”  Really?  What, then, would be an unmanageable amount of characters?  We think that the author of that review, upon reading recent works of fiction, would be pretty disappointed in the average number of characters in contemporary novels.  We don’t know about you, but we have never read a book that contained 60 characters and was accompanied by a reference booklet to keep them all straight!  Really, you gotta love what we come across in the pages of our used books.

     Hersey’s “The Wall” is for sale here at Bayswater for $9.99, complete with the character reference booklet (and you are going to need it).  Just a reminder that we will be publishing one blog at the beginning of each month only during the winter months, but you can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook.  Better yet, stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Say Cheese!

     Missing a favorite family photo, or snapshot of good times with friends?  We think you might be, too, and this week we just have to share our array of photos that have been discovered in the books on our used book floor.

     Now, before you start worrying that we might have a snapshot of you at that unfortunate family costume shindig you may have attended last week or month, rest assured; the majority of the photos we have found are clearly from decades past, most likely from the 80s and earlier because the photos have rounded edges.  All seasons are represented, as we have family photos in the woods with fall foliage in the background and a winter shot with those captured posing with a snowman they created.  Summer by the water is clearly favored, though, as snapshots of happy individuals in boats, near boats, or just the boats, themselves, were numerous.  We even have a snapshot of Fido (enter any dog’s name you want here) sitting on a boat.  What is it with the boats, huh?

     A few of our favorites are of a family christening event in 1950. These older photos depict the well dressed family members, including the children, in their formal attire at a church, all smiles.  We know that these pictures were taken in 1950 because the photos are dated, but no names or places were included in the inscription on the back.

     While we have found the time frames and clothing fashions very interesting (and we need to note that the shorts length for men has greatly improved since the 1970s), we also feel that each picture has story to tell.  Where are the people today that we see in the snapshots, and what has happened to them since?  Would they remember the day that was captured in these pictures?  Does it make you think of a day that you wish you could have a snapshot of to remember?

     Normally we tell you what book our “find” was discovered in and list its sale price, but in this case, the photos came from a number of books.  You will also be noticing that for the winter months, we will only be posting a column/blog during the first week of the month.  Fear not, however – we will be back on a weekly basis when spring arrives.

     To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself! 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Boat for Hire

     Ever been to the island of Grenada in the West Indies?  We haven’t, either, but our find of the week on the used book floor comes from this Caribbean haven that is near the islands of St. Lucia and Barbados.

     Hiding inside the pages of Alice Hoffman’s book, Blue Diary was a business card from Grenada stating “Boat for Hire” at the top and in smaller letters below, the name of the boat, “Prosperity 3.”  The owner’s name is listed as “Eric Carlisle” and he suggests his services for activities such as “snorkeling, picnics, sightseeing, or your choice”.  We actually found this card right after the series of hurricanes that recently passed through many of the Caribbean islands, so we thought that we would give Mr. Carlisle a call and see how his boat rentals are faring in Grenada after such an active hurricane season.  Blog research, we call it. 

     Seems like a simple task, right?  Look on the card and call the number listed, we thought.  Ahh…here is where the adventure truly began.  The business card does not list a phone number. If you want to book an adventure on the Prosperity 3, you have to go find the owner somewhere along the Grand Anse Beach or on the Carenage (which is basically like a long stretch of scenic waterfront in Grenada).  Because we are nowhere near the island of Grenada currently (and we do not give up easily), we decided to call a boat rental establishment that is near the beach to ask if anyone knew how we could contact Eric Carlisle/Prosperity 3.  Really, we thought, who doesn’t have a phone number on a business card?

    Apparently, many small businesses on Grenada.  After checking with several people in the background, the man on the phone told us that in order to speak to Eric Carlisle and book Prosperity 3, we would need to talk to “Tall John”.  Brace yourself for this one: Tall John does not have a phone, either.  He can only be found by asking around the fish market in downtown, St. George, Grenada.  Really?  Business cards with no phone numbers, boat rentals that are only booked by finding the man by the beach and a mysterious contact (who seemingly cannot be contacted) named Tall John.  We can’t make this stuff up.       

     We definitely can’t help you get a boat rental in Grenada, but Blue Diary is for sale (with boat rental business card included) here at Bayswater for $4.99.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Before Valley Forge

     Wedged into the pages of a 1950 copy of author John Hersey’s “The Wall” was where we found our most recent discovery on the used book floor - a 1970 church program from St. Thomas Church in Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania.  The program, itself, is interesting, as it is now 47 years old, printed on fragile paper and clearly typed on an old fashioned typewriter.  The church, however, holds bigger historical interest.  Read on, friends, read on.

     Though many of us have heard of the battle of Germantown that took place in October of 1777 during the Revolutionary War and the infamous winter that Washington’s troops spent at Valley Forge shortly after, few are familiar with the Battle of Whitemarsh that took place between the two events.  This three day battle was where our find of the week, the church program from St. Thomas Church in Whitemarsh, comes into play.  


     Reeling from the defeat in Germantown and the British takeover of Philadelphia, Washington’s Contintental Army retreated to the township of Whitemarsh in wait for more reinforcements (that would never come).  General Howe, Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces, attempted to put a more decisive dagger in the hearts of Washington’s 12,000 troops by marching to Whitemarsh and attacking at night in December of 1777.  Howe and his 10,000 men captured the St. Thomas Church and immediately began to use the bell tower as their lookout post.  From the top of the church, Howe observed Washington’s army and made his plans for attack.  This time, however, the Continental Army prevailed, holding the line and forcing Howe to retreat.  Washington and his men then hunkered down for the winter in nearby Valley Forge and, as we know, suffered the loss of thousands of his troops due to massive disease and starvation.

     So, what happened to St. Thomas Church, the captured lookout post for the British?  The building’s structure, already badly damaged from the effects of the battle of Germantown, suffered further destruction during its three day occupation.  It is now rebuilt and on its grounds, you will find a cemetery that is the burial ground for many Revolutionary War soldiers.  

     Didn’t know about this battle and the role that the St. Thomas Church played?  We didn’t either.  You gotta love where the finds in our used books lead us!  We are learning a lot, here, and we hope you are, too.


     The “The Wall” (with St. Thomas Church program included) it is for sale here at Bayswater for the price of $25.00.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself! 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Decisions, Decisions

     Our most recent find of the week on the used book floor clearly came from someone who may have been dealing with some inner conflict.  What type of inner conflict, you may ask, and what makes us so sure?  Keep reading and see what you think.

     The book that held the finds is entitled, “Certain Trumpets: The Call of Leaders” and it was written by Garry Willis in 1994.  Willis is famous for his previous book, “Lincoln at Gettysburg,” which gave the reader an in-depth look at President Lincoln as a leader.  Willis later won the Pulitzer and other prestigious awards for his writing in this book.  “Certain Trumpets” picks up where “Lincoln at Gettysburg” left off and examines leaders from political, artistic, sports, military, business and religious realms.  He discusses how leaders are shaped and how they must help to shape the actions of others.  The book also states that in order for one to be called a leader, he/she must have followers.
  
Here is where the conflict comes to light.  Hidden in different pages of the book were two political campaign bumper stickers, each from the 1996 United States presidential campaign.  One bumper sticker stated bold support for CLINTON/GORE, while roughly 50 pages later, the second bumper sticker clearly advocated for DOLE/KEMP.  Both appeared to be used as bookmarks for places in the book that the reader agreed with, or could relate to.  Yes, that is right – the person reading this book had campaign stickers from both of the candidates (i.e. conflict) in a book about leadership.

     See what we mean?  Was the reader unsure of who to vote for, so he/she used campaign stickers from each candidate to align with different sections of the book in the hopes that it would provide clarity?  Was he/she looking to become a “follower” of one of the political leaders, as Willis mentions in his book?  Did the book provide any insight at all, or were the bumper stickers left in this book because the reader could not decide on either one of the candidates?  Can you sense the inner struggle, here?  We only wish we knew what conclusion the reader came to when voting day rolled around in November. 

     The 1994 copy of “Certain Trumpets” (complete with stickers) it is for sale here at Bayswater for the price of $15.00, as it is a first edition hardcover.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Friday, October 13, 2017

The Code Writers of Yesterday and Tomorrow

     This week’s find on the used book floor has all of the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster: secret codes, alien communication and the chosen linguists who can help decipher the hidden messages.  In order to help you make sense of it all, we first need to tell you a little bit about the book that our discovery was found in. 

     “Earthsong: Native Tongue II” was written in 1994 and tells the story of a futuristic Earth where economic survival depends on communication and trade with alien species.  A limited number of linguists, all women, were trained from birth in “non-human language” so that only they could provide translations during alien interactions.  When tragedy strikes with the aliens, Earth is plunged into disaster and the women linguists are the only ones who can help avert the end of civilization. 


     Now, you are probably wondering where we are going with all of this.  Hang in there with us, because nestled in the pages of “Earthsong” was a newspaper clipping from 1994, originally published in the Chicago Tribune.  The article tells of the discovery of secret script written by women in China nearly 2000 years ago.  Though the entire story behind the ancient script, or code, may never be truly known, it is believed that at that time, women in China were mostly unable to read and write because very few were sent to school.  As they got married and left their homes, the women created a secret language, or code, to communicate with each other.  This code was sewn into fans, scarves, handkerchiefs, and napkins, and was then sent to their friends and families to help keep in touch.  The article describes how Nu Shu, as the language is now referred to, was deciphered for the general public in 1991 and translated into Chinese.  The translation was then published as a book and the proceeds were donated to a women’s organization in China.

     Is it a coincidence that the “Earthsong” book and the article that was found in it are both about women code writers/breakers?  We think not.  Maybe the reader saw a connection between the code breakers in the article (what took place in the past) and those in the book (what could be the future).  Maybe the reader was actually able to decipher actual secret codes in each!  If you have read our past blogs/columns, you know that we can get easily carried away with possible scenarios regarding the finds in our used books.  This may be what is happening here, but who can say for sure?


     The 1994 copy of “Earthsong: Native Tongue II” (with article included) it is for sale here at Bayswater for the price of $4.99.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself! 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Memorial Day, 1966

     We think that all discoveries made in the pages of our used books are interesting, though not all in the same way.  Some are historical and rare, some poignant, some humorous, while others are just plain quirky.  This week’s find falls somewhere between the realms of the historical and quirky, all tied into one.

     Hidden inside a 1950 hardcover copy of a classic, “The Scarlet Letter,” was a Mobil Oil Company gas receipt purchased by a man in Exeter, NH, on May 30, 1966.  This date was Memorial Day during that year and while we don’t know where he was going that day, we did some research to find out what he may have been thinking about as he watched the scenery speed by his car window 51 years ago. 


     Memorial Day always seems to illicit a mix of emotions from people, and in addition to these feelings, we surmise that the man may have been concerned about the 300 U.S. airplanes that were bombing Vietnam, or anxious to see if NASA’s robotic spacecraft, Surveyor 1, would actually land on the moon to gather the data needed to launch the upcoming Apollo missions (after all, President Kennedy had set a goal for the U.S. to land a man on the moon by 1970).  Or, perhaps he was feeling a little lighter as the day took shape because the weather was a promising 62 degrees and sunny.  Such buoyancy may have found him listening on his car radio to the Indianapolis 500 race when driver Graham Hill crossed the finish line in first place.

     Whatever the destination or mood, we do know that the customer who bought the gas for his car that day was a NH resident and he purchased his fuel for a total of $3.20.  Today, that would mean that he bought less than two gallons of gas.  Guess how many gallons he bought in May of 1966?  You are going to sigh when we reveal it, but we must.  The answer is: 10.  Yep, you got it: the NH man bought 10 gallons of gas for a total of roughly .32 cents a gallon.  Things have changed just a little since then, huh?


     The 1950 copy of “The Scarlet Letter” (including the receipt) it is for sale here at Bayswater for the price of $15.00.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself! 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

What's For Dinner?

     If you have been reading our past “Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor” blogs, you know that our discoveries often have a historical significance or meaning to them.  This week is not the case.  Fear not, however, as our most recent find is certainly just as interesting as the rest.

     Tucked into the 1973 first edition book, “The Road Through Sandwich Notch” was a bookmark from a fellow independent bookstore, the Concord Bookshop, located in Massachusetts.  On the other side of the bookmark, however, was the true find – a grocery list.  Now, you may be asking: what is so interesting about a grocery list?  Ah, behold the conclusions we have made from these items. 

     Upon studying the grocery list, one could make a few assumptions:
1.      The milk, two bananas, juice, coffee, banana bread, and Life cereal are intended for breakfast
2.      The Comet and dish soap are to be used for cleaning purposes
3.      The cheese and crackers go together for a possible appetizer scenario
4.      The bread is quite likely going to end up being used at lunchtime for sandwiches

     After taking those items away, the following remain on the list: potatoes, chicken, tomatoes, and green beans.  Left with those four items and because breakfast, lunch, and appetizers have already been accounted for above, we wondered, (and we know that you are, too) what is for dinner?  So glad you asked.

     We googled dinner recipes that contain all four of those items and the most commonly reviewed recipe we found was...drumroll…“30 Minute Pan with Chicken, Potatoes, Green Beans and Tomatoes” (creative name, we know, but hey, we didn’t create the recipe).  Now, we’ll admit, a lemon and a myriad of spices are also required to get this dish off the ground, but let’s assume that our shopper already had those at home.  Basically, after a little slicing, dicing, drizzling, seasoning, and caramelizing, this recipe touts itself as a “healthy one-pan dinner, guaranteed to please all” who dine on it. 

     So, there you have it!  We have created/surmised three meals, (along with appetizers and products to clean up with after those meals) all from one measly 16 item shopping list! We know that you are wondering what we can do with your list this week, too…

     The 1973 first edition of “The Road Through Sandwich Notch” (complete with the inspired bookmark/grocery list) it is for sale here at Bayswater for the price of $40.00, as it is a valuable book.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

And First Prize Goes To...

     
     This week’s discovery on our used book floor came pressed inside of the front cover of the 1950 first edition book, “The Outlander”.  No, this is not an early version of author Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” that is a current bestselling series and popular TV show.  This “Outlander” was written by Germaine Guevremont and published over 40 years before the 1991 time traveling Gabaldon book was written.

     Our unique find is a small certificate from the Editors of TIME Magazine that awarded a member of the junior class at Alexander High School (NY) with the “First Section Junior Class Prize” for the TIME Current Affairs Contest in 1950.  Never heard of this contest?  We hadn’t, either.  We discovered that in 1935, TIME asked two young college professors to draft a current affairs test for use in high schools and colleges across the United States.  The questions were based on stories that were heavily covered in TIME magazine and major U.S. newspapers for a six month period of time (Jan-June and July-Dec).  It eventually became known as the Cooperative Contemporary Affairs Test for the American Council on Education.

     Shirley Brown, the national 1950 First Section Junior Class Prize winner from Alexander, New York, was awarded the new, (at the time) first edition “Outlander” book as a prize.  Ms. Brown must have taken the test that encompassed events from Jan-June 1950, as the book was published in late spring of that year.  We figure that Ms. Brown may have been tested about events such as President Truman’s report on how to handle the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Senator McCarthy’s beginnings of Communist persecutions, and the issuing of the first credit cards.  It made us wonder: how many of us would pass a current affairs test covering the first half of 2017 if it were given today?

     If you are interested in owning the 1950 copy of “The Outlander,” (complete with award certificate) it is for sale here at Bayswater for the price of $15.99 – and you do not have to take a quiz in order to purchase it!  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Every Bead Tells a Story

     This week’s find may look small in stature, but it tells a very interesting story.  Resting comfortably on pg. 222 of Thomas Thompson’s 1979 novel, “Serpentine,” was a plastic clip of some sort (most likely a bookmark).  The clip was beaded at the top and looked similar to patterns used among Native American tribes.  Upon further examination, the back of the clip/bookmark stated that it belonged to St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Montana.  A find from a Native American school, alone, is interesting, but upon doing a little research, there was even more of the story to be discovered.

     It turns out that The St. Labre Indian School in Montana is a private, Roman Catholic school that also places great importance on Native American culture and tradition.  Most of the students are current members of the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Tribes and receive both a Catholic K-12 education, while also receiving instruction on Native American languages, history, and tribal government.  Led by director Curtis Yarlott, or “Yellow Arrows,” and principal Trivian RidestheBear, the St. Labre Indian School is a fully accredited institution and highly regarded in the state of Montana.  Did you know that such a school existed? We certainly didn’t. 

     So, how does a Catholic, Native American school come to be, you may ask?  Founded in 1884, St. Labre was created because a former soldier stationed in the area contacted Catholic Bishop John Brondel of Helena, Montana, and told him of the Cheyenne and Crow Tribes who were roaming with no land and no homes – displaced as a result of homesteading.  The Bishop helped to arrange a purchase of the land, and St. Labre was built.  The school (originally a three-room log cabin that served as the residence, school, dormitory and church) was taught and overseen by a combination of three priests and nuns.  Today, the St. Labre “miracle” (as it is now referred to by residents) boasts an enrollment of over 750 Native American students and employs both Tribal and Catholic instructors.         

     See what we mean when we first stated that the beaded clip really had a story?  Who could have guessed?  If you are interested in owning the 1979 copy of “Serpentine,” (complete with beaded clip) it is for sale here at Bayswater for the price of $6.99.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Laughter Soothes the Soul

     It is safe to say that here at Bayswater, we never know what to expect when we open the cover of a used book or slide it on a shelf.  This week’s find on the used book floor was tucked into the back cover of a pocket-sized, hardcover of “The Marked New Testament” that was published in 1899.  “The Marked New Testament” was published by the Bible Institute Colportage Association, which was founded only a few years before with the sole purpose of distributing religious books at a cost affordable to all.  While cost effective at the time, it also might be one of the smallest religion books we have ever seen, that’s for sure (a magnifying glass could be required here).

     As we opened the book, out came a handful of old (also tiny) newspaper clippings.  At first, we thought that they might be additional scripture readings or thoughts related to a passage in the New Testament.  Makes sense, right?  Alas, how wrong we were.  The very old clippings were actually jokes that had been printed a very long time ago, it appears, though there are no dates on the clippings.  Jokes tucked into a New Testament from 1899?  We kid you not (ok, a small pun was needed there). 

     One of our favorites was entitled, “Her Business.”  It reads as follows:
She – Is she a business woman?
He –Yes.
She – What business is she interested in?
He – Everybody’s.

     Another, clipped from the Philadelphia Telegraph and entitled, “Not Necessary,” quipped:
Teacher – Johnny, are you ready to repeat your history lesson?
Johnny – No, ma’am.
Teacher – Why not?
Johnny – Because you told us that history repeats itself.
    
     We found at least ten faded newspaper print jokes in "The New Marked Testament" and if you have read any of our previous columns, you know that we must have a thought about why they were found hidden in a religious book.  Was it to provide comic relief in church? Can’t you just picture someone pretending to read The New Testament and instead, suppressing a chuckle due to the hidden jokes? 

     The 1899 copy of The Marked New Testament (complete with jokes) is free (yes, free) for the asking here at Bayswater.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Eisenhower Had A Cake?

     We shelve books of all genres on our used book floor, but without a doubt, the books that provide the most interesting finds for us have been found in the cooking section.  People seem to feel that cookbooks are a good place to jot down notes or tuck in newspaper articles.  Really - check out the cookbooks on your shelves some rainy day and see what we mean. Cookbooks are clearly windows to our souls.

    This week’s find on the used book floor was discovered in…you guessed it, a cookbook!  Published in 1929, the “Rumford Complete Cookbook” was put together by the Department of Home Economics of the Rumford Chemical Company in Providence, R.I.  We know you are thinking it, so we’re just going to put it right out there…a chemical company that puts together a cookbook?  Interesting.

     Taped to the back cover of the book is a newspaper recipe clipping from 1955 for the Eisenhower Chocolate Cake.  This was not just any chocolate cake, we discovered.  Upon doing a little research we found that during his first year in office, Hershey hosted a giant 63rd birthday party for President Eisenhower and constructed a cake that was 9 feet wide and 6 feet tall.  This gigantic chocolate confection was made mostly of plywood and paper mache, but there was a very small portion of it that was actual cake created specifically for Eisenhower in honor of his birthday.  Only the President and his wife were allowed to eat from that cake, as the 600 other guests dined on alternate confections.  It was during this celebration that the Eisenhower Chocolate Cake was born and the recipe became a hot commodity.  It, therefore, makes sense that the woman who owned this cookbook 62 years ago would have considered the Eisenhower Chocolate Cake recipe newspaper clipping to be a “must have” in her cookbook.  Who knew?  We included a picture of the recipe in case you want to try your hand at it, too.    

       The Eisenhower Chocolate Cake recipe is only one of many newspaper clippings that we found pasted into the “Rumford Complete Cookbook” and the cookbook (complete with finds) is for sale here at Bayswater for the price of $19.99, as it was published in 1929.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Thursday, August 17, 2017

What Stock Did You Say You Sold (gasp) in 1968?!

     Our most recent find of the week on the used book floor is a true blast from the past in so many ways.  Tucked into a 1964 paperback copy of the novel “In Vivo” was a letter written and mailed in December of 1968 from a mother in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, to her son and his wife in Niantic, Connecticut.   

     Before we get to the letter inside the book, however, we found that the book, itself, is somewhat of a find, as it is a historical novel that deals with (what was then) the relatively new discovery and use of antibiotics in the medical field.  More effective strains of antibiotics were discovered in the 1960s, the time period during which “In Vivo” was written.  How interesting would it be to read a novel today that was based on the “new” and “uncharted” discovery of antibiotics by characters back then?  The book’s 1964 reviewers couldn’t seem to put the “exciting” book down, they stated.  Ahh, progress.    

     But, back to the letter.  It appears to have been written just after the son and his wife were visiting their parents/in-laws on 3½ Elliot Street in St. Johnsbury, VT.  Yes, you read correctly – 3½ Elliot Street.  Why the half, you may ask?  We wondered, too.  Apparently, in older cities in New England, the street numbers were given out consecutively, without skipping numbers to allow for future buildings to be constructed.  As a result, ½ and even ¼ street addresses were later assigned to new structures.  That sounds like something right out of Harry Potter to us. 

     The mother wrote to her son about how she finally sold her all of her Bates stock (from the Bates Worldwide advertising and marketing company) at $19 a share after having bought a great deal of it in the mid 1940s – only a handful of years after the company was founded.  She stated that as a “staunch New Englander” she hated to risk selling it at a loss, so she got nervous and got rid of the stock when she saw the price rise above $17 a share – what she purchased it for.  Little did she know that Bates Worldwide, whose future clients would include M&Ms, Nabisco, Colgate and Palmolive (just to name a few) would prove to be a powerhouse in the world of advertising and their profits exploded in the 70s and 80s.  Too bad.  Makes you wonder what her investment would have turned into had she not sold the stock in the 1960s.  We will never know.

     As with all of our used books that we feature here at Bayswater, “In Vivo” can be yours for the price of $2.99.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

While Riding on a New York Railway in January, 1980...

     Do you ever watch the police procedural (or detective) shows on TV?  You know, the ones where the investigator asks the potential suspects where they were and what was happening on a particular date?  Unless the date in question was very recent, who really remembers details like that?  Our latest find of the week on the used book floor allowed us to do a little research regarding one particular date – January 25, 1980 – and what one man may have been experiencing on that day. 

     This week’s discovery was a Long Island Railroad ticket from Friday, January 25, 1980, tucked into a copy of Stuart Woods’ book, “Standup Guy”.  The ticket was purchased by a male and it is clear by the number of punches on it that the ticket was used for commuting to and from work during the week of January 20-25 in 1980.  Hmm…we wondered, what was happening during that time in the life of a Brooklyn, New York commuter?

     On that day, we surmise that the commuter could have been trying to catch a brief cat nap, as Super Bowl XIV had recently concluded and he may have been shouting at the TV until a late hour, perhaps lamenting that neither New York NFL team even made the playoffs that year (the Pittsburg Steelers won and QB Terry Bradshaw was named the MVP).  As he sat on the subway, maybe he read about how President Jimmy Carter announced a United States boycott of the Moscow Olympics to be held that summer.  Perhaps he was looking out the window and thinking about the economy and his own job security, as inflation had skyrocketed to 13.5% (it is now 2.9%) and would eventually lead to a recession in the early 1980s.  Or maybe, because it was Friday, he simply couldn’t wait for the weekend (even a cold January one in New York).

     Whatever he may have been thinking or reading about, we found that on that day in 1980, a New York Long Island Railroad ticket cost a total of .60 cents.  If the man commuted five days a week for a total of 20 weekdays in a month, he spent $12 a month on his subway pass.  To put that in perspective, if one were to purchase a ticket for the same amount of time in that subway system now, it would cost $103 (a good example of inflation).

     As with all of our used books that we feature here at Bayswater, “Standup Guy” can be yours for the price of $2.99.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself! 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ok, Who Has That Book That I Lent Out?

     We have all probably finished a book and passed it on to someone else at least once or twice in our lifetime, but who can remember which book we gave to whom, and how long ago?  Thanks to this week’s find on the used book floor here at Bayswater, we can answer that question – at least for ten men in the year 1947.

     In a 1946 hardcover copy of Thunder Out of China, we found a list of the New Hampshire YMCA Reading Circle from 1947.  What was a reading circle, you may ask?  Was it similar to a knitting or quilting circle, where individuals gathered together to knit/quilt/work on individual projects while they visited?  The answer, at least in 1947 in NH, was no.  A reading circle featured a book that was purchased and passed on, one month at a time, to each member.  The member was granted one month to read the title and on the first day of the following month, read or not, the individual was required to mail it to the next person on the reading list.  The names of all ten men, their addresses, and the month that the book was to be in their possession are listed on a card inside of the book.  

      At that time, the reading circle consisted of men who lived throughout the state of NH in the towns of Littleton, Dover, Lakeport, Lisbon, Keene, Nashua and Center Conway.  The circle started out with Andrew in Keene for the month of September, followed by John in Dover for the month of October, and so on, until it ended up back at the State YMCA in Concord (now simply referred to as the Concord YMCA) in July of 1948.  In short, this book was read and shipped from person to person across the state roughly 70 years ago! Might we also add (gleaned from the bold typing in all caps not so subtly reminding all members of the need for promptness) that we think one would not have wanted to be late in sending the book on in this circle.  After all, Hugh from Nashua, Roger from Center Conway, or Charles from Littleton, should they be waiting on the book from you, had your name and address. 

     As with all of our used books that we feature here at Bayswater, Thunder Out of China can be yours for the price of $7, (complete with the 1947 NH reading circle find).  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook.

       

Thursday, July 27, 2017

So...About that Note You Left in That Book...

     Have you ever written notes to yourself regarding what you think about a particular paragraph of a book, or how it pertains to your life?  If so, we have found that you are definitely not alone.  Our discoveries this week are of people who have done just that, and boy, has it made for a fun time here at Bayswater. 


    One of our favorite finds was tucked into the 1969 book, A Loving Wife.  According to the author, this novel is about a “nice woman nearing middle age portrayed with wonderfully civilized grace” (whatever that means) and her journey through life as a mother and wife.  On a small piece of trucking stationary inside the cover we found a handwritten note in response to the title of the book.  The note read, “far from the title”.  We wondered, did the writer of the note think that the character of the book was far from a loving wife or could it be that the note’s author was talking about his actual wife?  Truthfully, we think it was the latter and that notion has created many possible scenarios to build upon regarding a trucker on the open road, gleaning advice from this 1969 book for women while writing down a few true confessions of his own.

     Another of our favorites was found in the 2015 book, Translating God: Hearing God’s Voice for Yourself and the World Around You.  Towards the beginning, the author writes about how he was talking to the stranger next to him on a commercial flight and the stranger stated that he worked for oil companies and traveled a lot.  The author thought that the stranger looked distracted, however, and when the stranger got up to use the bathroom, the author wrote that he suspected that the man “wasn’t telling him the truth” and that the stranger actually “didn’t work for oil companies, but was really the air marshal”.  Written on a small card and placed with an arrow pointing to this passage was the following message:



“Don- can I get an amen?! – Phyllis”

     Did Phyllis (whoever she was) also have experience trying to root out which passenger could have been the air marshal during her travels?  Was Don her assistant in that quest?  Let us all hope that Phyllis is not in the seat next to us next time we fly the friendly skies.  Move over, Columbo…Phyllis (and possibly Don) is on the scene.


    Our featured used books are always for sale here at Bayswater and The Loving Wife can be yours for the price of $18, as it is a first edition (and yes, you can have the note, too).  Translating God, however, is no longer available, as it just sold last week during the used book sale.  To catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor, you can always check us out at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook, or stop by the store! 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

To Be, or Not to Be (An Engineer)

     Here at Bayswater, we are gearing up for our annual giant used book sale event and as a result, we have been handling even more used books than we normally do in the course of a week.  That means, of course, more interesting discoveries to be made!

     This week we found the test scores for a male student who took the National Engineering Aptitude Search Test (NEAS) as a 12th grader in 1968.  At the time, this test was organized by the Junior Engineering Technical Society, a non-profit organization that sought to promote engineering careers to high school students.  The test was taken using the old punch card system, requiring that student answers be marked by punching holes in the card to allow for what we now recognize as an early form of computerized data entry.  As you can see, the scores were reported on one single piece of cardstock no larger than a check.  Back then, misplace your test score report and there was no checking online to print out another.  Do you remember those days? 


     
     The student who took this test (and then left it in a book almost 50 years ago) displayed a very high aptitude for engineering.  In fact, the student scored higher than 90% of all other students in the nation who took this engineering aptitude test in 1968!  Clearly, this student had the makings of a top-notch future engineer. 

     Upon researching entrance requirements to engineering schools during 1968, we found that scores such as these would have helped this student to gain entrance into many top colleges and universities.  The question is…did he ever go to any such schools?  Did he, in fact, become an engineer, or did he decide to pursue another avenue, instead? Why would he leave such a stellar score report in a random book?  Did he ever show his family?  Ahh, the mysteries that pour forth from our used book floor.  We could easily get carried away with questions, here.

     Our thanks to those of you who have stopped by to see the now “famous” (as we have been told that it now is) used book floor in our store.  We even had a customer head upstairs yesterday excitedly proclaiming her high hopes that she, too, will discover the next gem hidden in the once loved pages that have now found a home on Bayswater’s second floor.  You never know…


Thursday, July 13, 2017

It All Took Place in a Southern Hotel in the Year 1915

Who needs a shovel or a map to find hidden treasures?  Every day is a hunt for long lost treasures here at Bayswater – except they come hidden in our used books.  Move over, Captain Blackbeard, and make way for the independent booksellers of Center Harbor, NH!

In our finds this week, we discovered a 1914 book entitled, The Neighborhood Cookbook, published by the Council of Jewish Women in Portland, Oregon, for the Neighborhood House: a non-profit organization which (still today) assists the vulnerable immigrant populations in the city.  The cookbook contains many recipes, including an entire section labeled “Invalid Cookery”.  You know we had to take a peek at that section just for fun.  Upon doing so, we found that the authors insisted that “dishes for invalids should be served in the daintiest and most attractive way,” and the “flesh of young animals” is best to bring, as it is most tender and easy to digest.  Um…ok.

Best of all, however, was what we discovered in the book.  We found a recipe handwritten on a piece of stationary from The Carolina, a majestic hotel in Pinehurst, N.C., that opened in 1901.  In the early 1900s, The Carolina boasted large, glamorous hotel orchestras for dancing in the ballrooms and was known as a premier place to stay in the south.  The stationary states that E.G. Fitzgerald was the manager at that time and upon doing a little research, we found that this was the case in 1915.  This meant that our handwritten recipe on The Carolina’s stationary was most likely from a guest who stayed there around that time.  What an interesting find!


Don’t miss us next week as we uncover new treasures on the used book floor (otherwise known as the alluring open seas for us non-pirate booksellers).  You can also keep track of our finds on our website, bayswaterbooks.com, and our facebook page.  


Friday, July 7, 2017

The Year Was 1889...


If you read last week's blog, (the first in our "Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor" series) you already know that here at Bayswater, we are finding amazing items in and among the many books we have for sale on our used book floor.  This week’s find comes in a book published in 1889 entitled Elements of Composition and Grammar.  Yes, the book, alone, is a great discovery, as it appears to be a first edition and is now 118 years old.  Elements of Composition and Grammar also displays a beautiful engraved cover (see picture).  But, alas, the book was not the best find – that award goes to what we discovered in the pages.

Perfectly pressed and sandwiched into pages 10-11 (in the “Exercises for Dictation” chapter, in case you were wondering) was a four leaf clover that, while we cannot be sure of the exact date it was preserved, appears to be very old and quite large.  Also found a few pages later was a postcard with a postmark of the year 1890 sent from Boston to an esquire in Boscawen, New Hampshire.  The postcard is handwritten on the front and contains information on the back regarding the 1889 decision by government officials of the State of Vermont to use Greenleaf’s Arithmetics book in all of the state’s schools.

     While it may seem that we must spend countless hours flipping through our used books in search of our next great find, we assure you, they just appear in the course of our daily fun here at Bayswater.  Be sure to check in next week to see what our next great “Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor” will be and don’t forget to stop by and check out the section for yourself!