Archive for thrift store finds favorites

thrift store finds: through history with j. wesley smith

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , on June 2, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

This week, we’re looking at Through History with J. Wesley Smith (abridged) by Burr Shafer, published through Scholastic Book Services in 1964.

Cover price was fifty cents; if I had to make a guess, this book was likely sold through school book fairs or book club mailers.

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thrift store finds: new kids on the block trading cards

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , on April 21, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Today we’ll be looking at (and opening up!) a sealed box of New Kids on the Block trading cards, made by Topps in 1989. I have NO idea how much a box of these originally cost, but I dickered with the guy who was selling them and got the whole thing for $5 bucks.

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thrift store finds: the blair witch files #1- the witch’s daughter

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Today we’ll be looking at The Blair Witch Files #1: The Witch’s Daughter, “written” by Cade Merrill, published by Bantam Books in 2000. More about those quotation marks in a bit.

This is the third tie-in novel I’ve encountered made from an R rated horror movie and marketed to kids. You may remember I previously looked at the Halloween series of YA novels and the Nightmare on Elm Street novelization. I find so weird these books are explicitly marketed to young people- of course they’d be interested in them, but it just seems a strange fit. By codifying these movies in lines of young adult novels, it’s essentially like saying “Go ahead, twelve year old child who has no business watching The Blair Witch Project… sneak in and get the shit scared out of you!”

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thrift store finds: office lover boy

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , on January 28, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

I am not often shocked by the books I find in the thrift store. There are certain types of books that people willingly donate to Goodwill, just as there are books that bibliophiles keep treasured and would never give away. Similarly, when I’m looking for comic paperbacks, I expect to find certain types and kinds of these trades.

As a fan of comics, I already know which books I’m likely to come across in a thrift store, either due to popularity of the comic or the noteriety of the cartoonist. Although I stress emphatically I am no academic when it comes to comics, I generally know what to expect. For example, I will find a lot of Family Circus comic paperbacks, because they are inoffensive and many children buy them, read them, and their parents donate them after they’re grown up. A Family Circus paperback is easy to anticipate.

That’s the long way around saying I was pleasantly shocked when I found this book.

Office Lover Boy by Stan and Jan Berenstein, published in 1962 by Dell Publishing.

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thrift store finds: a teenage mutant ninja turtles puzzle

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , on January 7, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

The key to shopping at thrift stores is knowing you need to buy something the moment you clamp your eyes upon it. Thrift stores are not the type of establishments that forgive the wishy-washy. If you see a hat that you like… you damn well better buy it, rather than putting it back on the rack and giving it a night to think it over. For all you know, that hat will be gone by tomorrow and when it comes to secondhand shopping, there is no reordering. One it’s gone… it’s gone.

This is why I did not hesitate to buy today’s thrift store find, a 100 piece Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles puzzle. According to the copyright information, this was made in 1987 by Random House.

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thrift store finds: what was bugging ol’ pharaoh?

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool books I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the books I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)

Charles Schultz is the most famous American cartoonist outside of Walt Disney. His commitment to his craft is legendary. His creations are internationally known and celebrated. There is hardly a man, woman, or child alive who hasn’t, at some point in their lives, experienced Charlie Brown and Snoopy in some way or another.

This is why I was so happy to discover today’s Thrift Store Find:

What’s Was Bugging Ol’ Pharaoh? by Charles M. Schutz, published by Pyramid Publications for Successful Living in January of 1972. I love the tagline at the time of of the book, awkwardly reminding everyone they should “feel good again with that Peanuts man!”

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thrift store finds: my so-called life goes on

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , on June 4, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Alright, first some backstory: My So-Called Life was a teen drama which aired on ABC in the 1994-1995 TV season. The show turned on the life of Angela Chase, a precocious teenager whose running inner-monologue on the ins and outs of her friends, family, and school life made for gripping television.

The show featured a more realistic portrayal of teenagers than American TV viewers were used to at the time, and although highly acclaimed by critics, MSCL (as I will occasionally refer to it from here on out) hurt for mass viewership. The show became lost in the programming shuffle at ABC, who seemed understandably befuddled as to what they had. MSCL wasn’t escapist soapy drama like Beverly Hills 90210… but with the teenage cast, it wasn’t the type of show that older viewers normally tuned in to see in droves. Neither fish nor foul, MSCL limped to the end of its’ first season.

MSCL received one hell of a reprieve when MTV started playing reruns daily. This, I would argue, was the move that turned MSCL into a certifiable hit to people my age.; it’s surely the major reason the show is so well-remembered by my generation. Given the publicity from the MTV airings, ABC was prepared to bring MSCL back for a second season despite the anemic ratings… however Claire Danes, the star of the show, expressed doubts and concerns about returning. These doubts put the kibosh on Season Two.

This bothered quite a few fans of the series, as the last episode of My So-Called Life ends on an ambiguous note. Angela finally nets the guy she’s been in love with since the first episode, the dreamy but dense Jordan Catalano… but realizes the only reason she has fallen for Jordan has been the love notes written to her by the nerdy Brian Krakow, Cyrano de Bergerac style. The final episode leaves viewers hanging- Angela goes with Jordan, but looks (longingly? pityingly?) off at Brian as the credits roll. Fans never knew what was to come next…. until Random House decided to settle the question!

My So-Called Life Goes On, by Catherine Clark, published in 1994 by Random House, details the summer after the first season finale.

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thrift store finds: rainforests ablaze tie

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , on May 14, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool stuff I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood’s St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the things I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)

I don’t generally think of neckties as being depressing. Hell, generally, I don’t think of neckties at all! I have a couple of professional, solid colored neckties that I wear to work- black, dark blue, that sort of thing. I also have a couple of goofy “just for fun” neckties, the kind that anyone with a semi-professional job accumulates over a couple of years. I have one tie that’s covered with pictures of The Genie from Disney’s Aladdin movie, and another with Wallace and Gromit.
Those ties are just… ties. This one is a CALL TO ACTION. As I’ve always said, the best way to get someone interested in your environmental cause is by wearing an ugly necktie.
Made by a company called Endangered Species in 1996, this soul-crushing reminder of the planet Earth’s destruction features a parrot, a toucan, and a jaguar  five seconds before the habitat they live in is consumed by flames.
I bought this for $1, but I really want to know who paid full price for this fifteen years ago. Oh, and for some reason, this necktie has a title. “Rainforests Ablaze,” it’s called.
Have I worn it to work yet? You betcha.

thrift store finds: peace, mommy, peace- a family circus collection

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , on January 29, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool books I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the books I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)

I don’t have much more to say about The Family Circus. I talked a little bit about the Keane family here when I found I’ll Shovel The Cards… and I talked a little bit about one of Keane’s other gag strip, Channel Chuckles. The fact remains, though I’ve seemingly plumbed the depths of my interest and knowledge of Billy, Jeffy, Dolly, and PJ,  I keep finding Family Circus books. They are legion at our St. Vincent DePaul. I have a baker’s dozen of these Fawcett Gold Medal collections I could talk about, but I choose Peace, Mommy, Peace! because of the oh-so hep cover.

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thrift store finds: star trek: the motion picture: the pop-up book

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , on August 7, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Although I try to limit the majority of my thrift store purchases to comic paperbacks and books for my classroom lending library, I am not made of stone. When I encounter something especially weird, baffling, geeky, or otherwise neat, I will pick it up. Such was the case with Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Pop-Up Book!

What a name!

Confession time: I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of Star Trek. I did have relatives who were into the show however. My maternal grandmother was a dyed-in-the-wool Trekkie. She read every Star Trek paperback she could get her hands on. She watched Star Trek: The Next Generation. She collected Star Trek plates from the Franklin Mint! Grandmas and Star Trek don’t normally go hand in hand, but mine did.

I don’t think Grandma’s love of Kirk and company affected my own interest in Star Trek either way… it was just something I never got a handle on. I tried to watch the TV show multiple times to no joy. All I could see were cardboard sets. When Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premiered in 1993, I literally FORCED myself to sit down and watch it every week for like a month and a half because, as a kid who liked comics, Star Wars, Monty Python, and all other matter of geeky ephemera , it just seemed like the type of thing I should be into. I just wasn’t.

It’s only been in this past year or so that I’ve gained any real appreciation for Star Trek. I truly enjoyed the rebooted Star Trek that was in theaters last year; it was a terrific popcorn flick and I liked it so much that I saw it twice (once in the theater, once as a double-feature at a drive-in). Enjoying that movie lead me back to some of the earlier films like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which, to my surprise, was a truly awesome movie even independent of its Trekker origins. Some of the other Star Trek movies I’ve sampled since then… eh, not so much.

BUT, you say… if you’re not into Star Trek, why did you even bother to buy this book? I’ll show you why in a second, but before that let me just say something about pop-up books.

Generally, I am anti-pop-up-book. They are sometimes really clever and certainly Robert Sabuda deserves some kind of medal for the amount of craziness he’s figured out how to pour into his pop-up creations… but I have a two year old son. Pop-up books last about three, maybe four days in this household before you’re simply staring at a book full of torn pages and glue smudges. Most of the pop-up books we encounter in the thrift store are similarly afflicted. When I looked at ST:TMP:TPUP (awesome acronym), ALL the pages were in great condition. Whoever owned this book before it ended up in the thrift shop, it wasn’t a toddler. All the pages work beautifully from the transporter room

to the Enterprise coming out of drydock

and then you get to this page which made me laugh out loud. It has to be the most boring use of a pull tab ever employed in a pop-up book. I’m going to switch over to video to do it justice.

The copy on the page says: Mr. Spock reacts to all the excitement in his usual way.

There you have it. Star Trek! The Motion Picture! The Pop-Up Book! Eight pages of eyebrow raising fun.