Hidden Treasures of the English Club Book Sale

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Being a lover of cheap, strange books, I jumped at the opportunity to visit the English Department’s semiannual book sale. Needless to say, the sale did not disappoint. Here are some of my best finds.

I walked into the beautiful Robert Penn Warren Room of Cherry Hall with a coffee in my hand and a sense of optimism that this was just the thing to brighten up my dreary Wednesday. I was greeted by the room’s golden chandelier lighting and stacks of books of every genre — all promising to cost just $1 or less.

“If anything in the Vintage Media category strikes your fancy, I am willing to negotiate,” the student working the checkout table said.

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A cassette tape from 1994 promising to reveal “The Dickens Nobody Knows” did catch my eye. Who knows what secrets Professor Elliot Engel was waiting to reveal to me,  “described and illuminated with great wit”? Though intrigued, I decided to decline — perhaps deterred by the not one, but TWO, Bill Cosby DVD’s featured in the same section.

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Perhaps that was why she was so eager to bargain. Despite this off-putting sight, I was impressed by the section’s collection of 90s CDs, including Switchfoot’s hit 2000 album, Learning to Breathe. Upon first glance, I assumed the CD was a bootleg burned onto a blank disc, but I guess that’s just what the case was like.

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Next, in the Fiction section, a mystery novel called Murder is Relative by Karen Saum caught my eye. I was struck by the novel’s unassuming cover art in juxtaposition with its quite alarming title. I don’t know if murder is relative, Karen … it seems like a rather fixed concept. After a bit of ethical contemplation, I decided to pass on this one.

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In the Romance section, A Nanny Named Nick by Miranda Lee caught my eye, perhaps because the cover looks a lot like The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin. I appreciated the alliteration of the book’s title and its bold challenge to traditional gender norms — a political statement I imagine is quite rare in the romance genre.

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What’s this?! A biography of my favorite recording artist of all time, British music legend David Bowie? I jumped for joy. What a lucky find!

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Nope — even better. A historical novel about the life and times of Jim Bowie, American pioneer and folk hero who played a prominent role in the Texas Revolution. Turns out, he was born just West of Bowling Green in Logan County, Kentucky. Looks like I found a new hero.

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Without a doubt, this 90s-tastic book about Cootie Catchers was my find of the day. What’s a Cootie Catcher, you ask?

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THIS is a cootie catcher! They’re those foldable fortune telling games you might remember from grade school. How else would you find out who has a crush on you, or if you’ll live in a Mansion, Apartment, Shack, or House? Don’t worry, this book’s got you.

Either way, I left the book sale feeling like a winner.

Thanks to the English Club for hosting such a great book sale! We look forward to the next one. Be sure to subscribe to email updates and follow us on Instagram to stay up-to-date on more English Club happenings.

If you’d like to get involved with English Club, please contact english.club@wku.edu.

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