Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

If you love books…here’s your sale May 21, 2022

Books I selected from the AAUW’s “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. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo)

IF YOU LOVE BOOKS and live in the Faribault area, you have four more days to shop for used books during the local American Association of University Women’s annual sale at the Faribo West Mall.

After a break due to COVID, the sale is back. Just a note, though, that Rice County is currently experiencing a medium level of community transmission of the virus. That’s a change from the high transmission level we’ve been in for a few weeks.

But back to those books. As someone who loves to read and who appreciates books sold at a bargain price, this sale is a must shop. Mostly, I read books I get through the library. There’s always a stack in my house. Books I own also line shelves in my living room. There’s something about owning a book. I had so few when I was a child and longed for a library in my hometown.

Minnesota poet Robert Bly autographed this copy of “The Voices.” (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo)

Yes, I’m drawn to books and I’ve found some treasures through the years at the AAUW Faribault Chapter’s Book Sale. The last treasured discovery was a slim volume of poetry, The Voices by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Bly. It’s a limited first edition copy, #14 of 50, autographed by Bly, a well-known Minnesota poet who died last November.

I found this vintage (perhaps 1960s) booklet at a past AAUW Book Sale. I love the graphics. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo April 2016)

I’m also drawn to “Minnesota” books, whether about Minnesota or written by Minnesotans.

Science fiction books my son bought at the 2011 AAUW Book Sale. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo April 2011)

When my son was in high school, he’d accompany me to the AAUW sale, hauling home bags of science fiction and fantasy titles.

This year I’ll search for books that interest my grandchildren, ages three and six. And I expect I will find other books that interest me or someone I know. It’s a bit of a treasure hunt, this filing through donated used books packed on tables and sometimes in boxes.

Proceeds from the sale also enable the AAUW to offer scholarships and other programs locally. There are other benefits, like keeping books out of the landfill by recycling them, encouraging reading, making books accessible and affordable…

Here are the remaining sale hours:

Saturday, May 21, 10 am–5 pm

Sunday, May 22, noon–5 pm

Monday, May 23, 4-7 pm ($8 bag sale)

Tuesday, May 24, 4-7 pm (books are FREE)

TELL ME: Do you shop used book sales? If yes, what treasures have you found?

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “If you love books…here’s your sale”

  1. Ruth Says:

    Love love love books! I’m going to have to find that book with your photos in it, Audrey. That sale looks so tempting. Once I found a D’aulaire illustrated book for 25 cents. Priceless

  2. beth Says:

    I love used book sales! so many treasures waiting to be found

  3. We are gearing up for our 52nd AAUW Book Sale in June. I can not wait! So much hard work goes into the same all year long. Hats off to your AAUW for their hard work!

  4. Gunny Says:

    Yup. I have found many treasures. Some treasures in the most unlikely places. I am forced niw to find them good homes.

  5. Gunny Says:

    I have made several cherished purchases at libraries, junk shops, flea markets etc. Unfortunately, I have very little time to read and the cherished books I do have, I now find appreciative homes or places for them to go.

  6. Brenda Schroeder Says:

    Another Minnesota author who grew up on a farm north of Morgan Minnesota is Kent Meyers. I especially like his first book “The Witness of Combines”. A memoir.

    • Brenda, I loved that book by Kent Meyers and it’s in my personal collection. You are prompting me to reread it. Thank you for your comment so other readers are aware of this book rooted in southwestern Minnesota.

  7. I really miss having a book in my hands, however; I love my Kindle now. I still have a few treasured golden books and seriously need to get them in shadow boxes for display along with a few other treasured items. Living in a reno for over 6 years and now in the home stretch means I can unpack (yes have items not unpacked since 2015) and decorate. I love using my travel books as part of decorating throughout the house – set a frame on top or a saying or a little trinket. Just adds the unexpected and it has worked as an icebreaker when having people over too. Happy Reading – Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

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