Bookstock Best Finds
What are the books that keep you glued to the page?
By Vivian Henoch, Editor myJewishDetroit
April 1, 2015
What are the books that keep you glued to the page?
Remember the first book that started your love of reading?
What is your most memorable find at Bookstock?
The answers are as varied as the books you’ll find as you browse through Bookstock 2015, metro Detroit’s biggest and best used book and media sale running Sunday, April 26, through Sunday, May 3 at Laurel Park Place in Livonia.
Join the conversation. Calling all Bookstock friends and lovers to share their stories on Facebook. For starters, here are some of our favorites:
From a longtime Bookstock devotee and volunteer. . .
“I have been privileged to know ‘the best of Bookstock’ and so many of our browsers’ finds. Here are my own personal best finds:
I love the Daniel Silva Gabriel Allon series. I was thrilled to unearth a bag of every one of the books in his series and in perfect condition. I will treasure them always.
As a little girl, my family gave me a book series from Sydney Taylor called All-of-a-Kind Family. Some years ago I found the entire series sitting on the children’s table in pristine condition!” – Sheri Schiff, avid Bookstock leader and reader
Memories of childhood, ‘Burroughing” into books
“One of my favorite books as a boy was The Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. This book was actually the first in a series of swash-buckling Mars adventure books that Burroughs wrote featuring Jack Carter and Dejah Thoris. Though better known for his Tarzan novels, I always preferred Burroughs’ Mars books. I was introduced to the series by my Uncle Dick Pales who had the original cloth bound books that were published in the 1910 – 1930’s .” – Jeff Lasday, still burrowing into books, Director of Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education
Packing up old favorites
“Actually, I had my hands on some of my childhood books just the other day while cleaning out shelves. One was Green Eyes and the other was Pink Ballet Slippers. Both looked tattered and I even defaced the Green Eyes book when I played ‘School.’ I wrote in it like it was a library book. I think my daughter, Amanda, wrote in the book as well when she was a little child. The book doesn’t look so good, but it’s been loved.” –Ruthanne Pearlman, Graphic Artist, Federation
I found a complete set of Craig Claiborne books at Bookstock! Best cookbooks! My childhood favorite of all time was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and my favorite teacher, Mrs. Goldstein, gave it to me in the 4th grade at Stevenson Elementary as a going-away gift. – Kari Alterman, Detroit Director, AJC
- Unpacking the box-loads of cookbooks to fill the tables for the sale, Debbie Levin was chatting with another Bookstock volunteer, Vera Gell, when she picked up a copy of the National Council of Jewish Women’s Cookbook and noticed the fringed edge of a loose-leaf paper inside. Pulling out the page, she immediately recognized her mother’s handwriting. It wasn’t her mother’s cookbook, but the recipe was the real deal for the chocolate chip apple cake Doris Levin ( z’l) used to make every year for Rosh Hashanah.
- Two years ago, Jodi Goodman, Bookstock leader and volunteer, found her grandfather’s business card while sorting through books in the fiction section at the sale. “It was his way of tapping me on the shoulder and telling me I was doing a good job,” says Jodi, “because Sam Quen, my grandfather of blessed memory, passed away nearly 30 years ago.”
- Roz Blanck, big Bookstock booster and advisory chair, gets hundreds of requests for long-lost books, childhood favorites or esoteric titles at the sale. She recalls a request one year from a woman whose son-in-law’s father was a former Israeli spy – the subject of The Champagne Spy, published in 1972. Unpacking books the very next day, low and behold, she found the book.
- Janet Schenk, Bookstock Colossal Collection sorter and schlepper and an Oakland County Advanced Master Gardener, mentioned she was thrilled to find two pocket-sized guides, one copyrighted in 1907, the other 1914, both published in 1926, one titled Tree Guide: Trees East of the Rockies, the other Flower Guide: Flowers East of the Rockies.
Best find ever!
As Michelle Resnick describes, “My best find was the second book in a trilogy. I’d found the first and third books previously, but had had no luck with the second. I came to Bookstock a year after those finds seeking the elusive second book. I got a map and went straight for the sci-fi/fantasy section. I started at one end and went through, row by row, back and forth. (Those who’ve been to Bookstock know that there’s no particular order within genres. You’re lucky to find works by the same author anywhere near each other, simply due to how the books come in: jumbled up, given either piecemeal or in huge swaths from collectors.) I saw books I knew, books I wanted, books I’d never heard of by authors I’d read. Finally, on the second to last row, I found it: Julian May’s The Golden Torc. There were even TWO copies, alongside the first and third books in the series – and there was a fourth one, too! At long last, my set was complete.
A “Hair-raising” tale
Janet Berman, another longtime Bookstock volunteer and co-chair since 2007, shared the following: “Many years ago I had an interview at Channel 7 studio on the morning of the opening day of the sale. Our contact asked that I bring a few interesting articles which would be available at the sale. When I arrived, I assembled the books on a coffee table in view of the place I would be seated. The most interesting item was an album of the original London Cast recording of Hair in perfect condition. It was beautiful! I mentioned, on the air, that I was going straight to Bookstock and these items would all be on the table within the hour. I did as I said and dispersed the items to their tables. I checked at the record table an hour later. That copy of Hair was gone!”
More childhood favorites
- “Anything by Judy Blume. When I was in the 6th grade, I remember wanting to take Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret out of the Canterbury Elementary School Library (in Cleveland). Ms. P, the Librarian (I think she was 120 or so at the time), wouldn’t let me, due to the book’s content, even though it was in the library, on the shelf – and 6th grade was the oldest class in the school. I had to get written permission from my parents!” – Lisa Soble-Seigmann, JFamily, Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education
- “My favorite book was one that I read in 5th grade, The Last of the Just by Andre Schwarz-Bart. I was very interested in learning about the Holocaust and this book made a deep impression on me.”- Linda Blumberg, Director, Planning and Agency Relations, Federation
- “My favorite book as a kid was Boxcar Children. The original story, not the mysteries. I would read it over and over again. I also loved the All-of-a-Kind Family Series.” – Judy Loebl, Adult Education, Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education
- “My favorite? Little Women!” In fact, I just reread it a few years ago. I’m particularly fond of books that tell a story over many years, and Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale fills my need. As I have two sisters, I can relate to the complicated family relationships and recognize the unwavering loyalty. Little Women encouraged my enjoyment of reading which continues to this day. One of my favorite evenings is my monthly book club – soon be 20 years old!– Randie Levin, Jewish Women’s Foundation Chair
- The first real chapter book that I remember reading (and loving) in elementary school was Superfudge by Judy Blume. It had just enough illustrations to give my imagination a jumping off point, but was a “real book” with lots of words and I remember feeling very grown-up carrying it around. –Amy Newman, Federation’s Alliance for Jewish Education
More cooks and their books
Enumerating best finds, Allan Gale of JCRC, found the following
- A Weight Watchers book from the 1960s, which he gave to Bookstock leadership suggesting they present it to Florine Mark
- A 1975 kosher celebrity cookbook featuring stories and recipes from the likes of Detroiter Soupy Sales, and from Leonard Nimoy, Joan Rivers, Neil Simon, Don Rickles, Neil Diamond, Peter Yarrow and William Shatner
- The Bialys Eaters: The Story of a Bread and Lost World, by Mimi Sheraton. The book sent him on a search for bialys bakeries here in Detroit only to discover that they are few and far between.
More than 800 volunteers
It takes a village. Literally. More than 800 volunteers work together throughout the year to organize and staff the week-long Bookstock sale where all proceeds benefit literacy and education projects in metropolitan Detroit schools. Interested in volunteering? Visit iVolunteerjewishdetroit.org and start browsing.