Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The B’s have it with bargain books, bluebirds, Big Bang Boom & beer April 21, 2017

I LOVE BOOKS. And I love a bargain.

Combine the two and you have a used book sale. This week and next, book lovers in my area have opportunities to shop two used book sales.

The first, the annual Faribault American Association of University Women’s Book Sale opened Thursday at the Faribo West Mall and continues through April 25. Hours are from 10 a.m. to mall closing on April 21 – 23 and then from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. April 24 – 25. There’s an added activity—a Kids’ Karnival from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.


Books I selected from the “Minnesota table,” albeit Prairie Perpendicular (one of my all-time favorite fiction books) is set in small North Dakota farming community and written by a North Dakotan. I bought these at a past AAUW Book Sale. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


I try to shop this sale every year, looking primarily for vintage and Minnesota-themed/authored books. But now that I have a one-year-old granddaughter I likely will also spend more time in the children’s books section.


Books my son purchased at a past AAUW sale. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


When my son was still home—he’s 23 now and living in Boston—he would haul home bags of fantasy and science fiction titles. He’s a voracious reader.

Just up the road about 15 miles, the Northfield Hospital Auxiliary is hosting its 56th annual book sale from April 25 – 29 at the Northfield Ice Arena. This is a mega sale where you can easily spend hours perusing books, puzzles, DVDs, CDs and vinyl. Hours are from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. April 25, from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. April 26 – 28 and from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. April 29. Books are free from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. on the final day.


I found this vintage (perhaps 1960s) booklet at last year’s AAUW Book Sale. I love the graphics. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


I appreciate the efforts of the many volunteers who collect, haul, organize and sell these used books and more as a service to the community and as a way to raise monies for scholarships, community projects and more.

TELL ME: Do you shop an annual used book sale? Where? What draws you there?


Promo courtesy of the Bluebird Recovery Program.


NOW ABOUT THOSE BIRDS…the Bluebird Recovery Program of Minnesota holds its annual expo from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday at the Northfield Middle School. If bluebirds interest you as much as books interest me, then consider attending this event. Click here to learn more about “bringing back bluebirds for future generations.” Expo registration cost is $15 or $25 for registration and lunch.


Big Bang Boom. Photo courtesy of the Paradise Center for the Arts.


IT WON’T COST YOU anything to attend a concert at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Paradise Center for the Arts, 321 Central Avenue North, Faribault. The free concert by the pop/rock music trio Big Bang Boom is geared toward families.


Faribault artist Rhody Yule (now deceased) created this oil painting of the Fleckenstein Brewery in 1976. The building, and the brewery, no longer exist. The 20-foot Fleck’s beer bottle on the right side of the painting sat near the brewery entrance. Children often had their pictures taken here when their parents took a brewery tour. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


ADULTS WITH AN INTEREST in Minnesota brewing history will want to attend the Fleckenstein Brewery Walking Tour in Faribault on Saturday. Sponsored by the Rice County Historical Society and led by local Fleckenstein historian Brian Schmidt, the popular tours will be offered at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Good walking/hiking shoes are a must. Click here for more info and/or call 507-332-2121 to reserve a tour spot. The tours are filling quickly; don’t expect to get in if you just show up.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “The B’s have it with bargain books, bluebirds, Big Bang Boom & beer”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Of course I love a great book sale! Our little community has several of them and our own Connestee Library culls their books and donates them to the massive AAUW book sale every year. Any and all books are welcome in my house and my bookshelves are exploding once again.

  2. Kevin Kreger Says:

    Kudos on the selection of Science Fiction books in your son’s pile – what I can see of the titles represent a quality list!

    • Do you read science fiction, Kevin? I don’t. Thus it’s good to know that Caleb chose quality sci-fi. If you ever want to borrow any, they are all here at my house. Not in Boston.

      I picked up a Betsy-Tacy collection and Garrison Keillor’s Life among the Lutherans at the AAUW sale last evening.

  3. I have not been to a book sale lately, however; back when I did go I would look for unique books (some with local flavor) as well as children’s books and cook books. I hope you find some great children’s books. Happy Weekend – Enjoy 🙂

  4. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    “How to talk Minnesotan” I had to laugh at that one. I love a good book sale

  5. Littlesundog Says:

    I love books too. After offering visiting guests to take what they pleased, I donated a lot of books this year and kept only what I knew I would read again and again. Sometimes it is difficult to part with books… but I try to think along the lines of passing on the gift of a good read.

  6. Ann Coleman Says:

    Nothing is better than a used book sale! Nothing.

  7. Chuck Hess Says:

    I thought you might like this video.

    On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 3:00 AM, Minnesota Prairie Roots wrote:

    > Audrey Kletscher Helbling posted: “I LOVE BOOKS. And I love a bargain. > Combine the two and you have a used book sale. This week and next, book > lovers in my area have opportunities to shop two used book sales. The > first, the annual Faribault American Association of University Women’s ” >

  8. Minnesotans {{{{{DO}}}} have a very unique accent!
    I remember when FARGO came out! OooooMGOSh, I was like, “YEAH, that’s how my aunts and uncles talk! That’s how you talk.” ( I was pointing to my sister. )
    And Kay was like, “THAT is so rude and embarrassing. We don’t talk like that!”
    Love your blog posts about the simplicity and beauty of life! xx

    • It’s the way we prolong our “o’s” that is especially noticeable, so I’ve been told. And I’m fine with that. I’m proud to speak Minnesotan.

      I can just imagine that conversation between you and Kay, perhaps with some eye rolling too. Hold on to those memories…

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