Booth book sale features first edition Charles Dickens classic

Photo of Rob Ryser

NEWTOWN - In past years, it might have cost you no more than a few hundred dollars to pick up a first printing of Ernest Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea,” or a limited signed edition of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.”

But this is no ordinary year for the annual summer book sale in Newtown, sponsored by the Friends of the Booth Library.

This year, to pick up the premier rare title of the book sale, it will cost you a few thousand dollars.

That’s because as volunteers were sorting through scores of donated books in preparation for the 44th annual book sale that begins July 13, someone with a sharp eye noted that a first edition of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens was in remarkably good condition.

The 1843 classic can be yours for $3,200.

“We price them at wholesale price, which is a third of their retail value,” says Toni Earnshaw, an organizing volunteer with the Friends of Booth Library.

The majority of the 120,000 titles at the book sale are priced to sell quickly - starting at $1 for paperbacks and $2 for hardcovers.

The five-day sale, planned from July 13 through July 17 at Reed Intermediate School, has raised as much as $100,000 in past years for Booth Library.

The event, which has become one of the largest of its kind in New England, charges $5 admission for adults on the opening day. Tickets for opening day go on sale at 7 a.m.

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