Do Leather Bindings Get You Excited? A Sneak Peek into the Treasures and Good Book Sale Sept 14-16, 2017 at the Toronto Reference Library

September 7, 2017 | Bill V.

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Do unclipped dust jackets on first edition hardcovers make your toes curl?

If so, then you'll really enjoy the Treasures and Good Book Sale Sept 14-16, 2017, sponsored by The Friends of the Toronto Public Library, South Chapter. They've sorted, sifted and priced thousands of books in many categories like art and photography, first editions, author-signed copies, unusual sets, antique children's books and rare or out of print books. I've also seen hundreds of reasonably priced "reading copies" and coffee table type books. Most material is priced between $2 and $15, and there are no DVDs or LPs at this sale.

Treasures and Good Books Sale

Thursday, September 14,  9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. ($2 admission first day only)

Friday, September 15, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturday, September 16, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Beeton Auditorium, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street


Sorry to those of you who like to bargain – prices are firm. Good news though, we accept cash, debit or credit card. Please note ... bring your own bags or you can buy library bags at the info desk on the main floor of the library (not inside at the sale itself).

  Selection of books from Friends Treasures Book Sale

Winston Churchill’s six volume The Second World War (Chartwell Edition) at $36 is for the history or military buff, impressive on the bookshelf, and will provide many days and nights of endless reading from a key figure in the War.

Winston Churchill’s six volume The Second World War (Chartwell Edition) for $36.00

Did you know that Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty? Thus I seamlessly segue into the hefty and lovely navy blue (like the water?) Maclachlan’s Law of Merchant Shipping © 1922 priced at $50 with its beautiful golden galleon on the front cover. Over 900 pages and 3.5 inches thick!

Macclachlan’s Law of Merchant Shipping – 6th edition © 1922 priced at $50

 You would be forgiven for saying, "I’m just going to put my feet up and watch some TV," after hearing about the serious books above, so I might suggest TV Guide: Fifty Years of Television – a coffee table sort of book and a real bargain at $6 (less than lunch!).

TV Guide Fifty Years of Television

Could I suggest Wine by André Dominé to go with the TV viewing and priced at $5, considerably cheaper than buying a bottle? It's 900 pages of oenophile pleasure.


There's a wide variety of accessibly priced items including :

  • Harry Potter From Page to Screen $30 (even good for Muggles)
  • Collector's Edition Stuart Little $4
  • The Annotated Mother Goose $5
  • and for the ailurophiles among you The New Yorker Book of Cats $6 Selection of books for Friends' Treasures Book Sale

In terms of rarer antiquarian type (more expensive) books, I hope this might entice you:

Banting As An Artist by A.Y. Jackson is signed by the author and a limited edition (this is numbered 229) – in very good condition – published in 1943 by Ryerson Press, ex libris and priced at $150.

Banting As An Artist by A.Y. Jackson


There is a first edition 1977 hardcover with fine dust jacket of the Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien with typos/errors that identify it as a "true" first edition, priced at $300.

The Silmarillion

For those interested in contemporary literary first editions, there is a lovely Moise and the World of Reason by Tennessee Williams bound in deep blue leather. It's a signed first and limited edition – this is 171 of 350 copies – signed and numbered on the colophon page. Gilt titles with gilt top edge. Book very fine (bumped corners) without dust jacket as issued and priced at a $250.

Moise and the World of Reason


After the simple elegance of the blue leather above I thought you might be intrigued by the colourful dust jacket of Sax Rohmer's 1931 Daughter of Fu Manchu priced at $60.

Daughter of Fu Manchu


I leave you with this vintage 1896 Finnish Bible published in Turku, and priced at $4 and Taylor's Holy Living and Dying published in 1824 and priced at $12.

 Biblia / Bible in Finnish      Taylor's Holy Living and Dying 1824