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text 2013-12-07 03:07
Booking it in Vermont

Every time we make the trip to Brattleboro, Vermont to see my daughter, we visit Brattleboro Books, a big, old wonderful used book store where I've perused and ultimately adopted many once- and dearly-loved books. I like to think generally, at a macro level, that books are lovable--please don't dissuade me from that.


And I love buying used books. A good book isn't a once and done experience and should be enjoyed by as many people as possible until the spine cracks and the pages fall out. I also love the selection at Brattleboro Books--they have two floors stuffed with them and comfy couches set around for heavy browsers. I mean, I like to read the first five pages before I buy a book.


I usually pay half the list price for like-new books at Brattleboro Books. Plus, I'm supporting a longstanding small business established in 1989, no less.


However, this time I visited Brattleboro Books, I decided to go with a plan. I would take along a handful of recommendations ripped from my Book-a-Day Calendar,which I blogged about a few years ago to see if I could find any of these books at Brattleboro Books. I had about a dozen slips from calendar to match up. How did I make out?

Well, let's see.


I found a first edition of Anita Shreve's second book Strange Fits of Passion (which I finished this weekend) for $10.50, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski for $8.95, Ann Patchett's newest release State of Wonder for $7.75, and an advanced reader's edition of A Conspiracy of Paperby David Liss for $8.75 (you can even see the Book-a-Day page sticking out from its pages).


Total investment? $39.95. A handful of good reads and the whole process was loads more satisfying than impulse buying.

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review 2010-10-21 00:00
Brattleboro Retreat: 1834-1984, 150 Years of Caring
Brattleboro Retreat: 1834-1984, 150 Year... Brattleboro Retreat: 1834-1984, 150 Years of Caring - Esther M. Swift Published as part of the 150 year anniversary celebration of the Brattleboro Retreat which was founded in 1834 as The Vermont Asylum for the Insane. The foreword pretty much sums up the value of the book as history by saying that all the content of the book had to be approved by the Board of Trustees and the family members of former trustees/employees of the Retreat...there goes any chance of critical examination.

It is not completely without value, however, as the Retreat does have a history almost unique among the old asylums: founded on the principal of the 'moral' cure and the ability to constantly expand and build, the Brattleboro Retreat has none of the overcrowding and mistreatment horror stories.

What it comes down to, is that if you have ever worked at or been admitted to the Retreat, you'll appreciate the quantity of old photographs that show the evolution of the current campus. Otherwise its bound to come off as dull and flawed.
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