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Connecticut Nutmeggers Message Board

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jul 29, 2006, 9:04am

So, anyhow, I live in the Norwich area. How about you?

One of my all-time favorite books is "Moby Dick." The annual reading of the entire book starts at noon on July 31st and goes for 24 hours until noon on August 1st on the deck of the Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport. The event culminates in a Great White Birthday Cake to commemorate Melville's birthday!

Details are at:

jul 29, 2006, 9:58am

WOW! It sounds fascinating, but I'd be willing to bet I'd never be able to keep my eyes open through the whole thing. Do you go home and sleep for a few hours, and then come back for the finale and the cake?

I'm north of Hartford.

jul 29, 2006, 10:13am

Hi Clare-

I've never attended this thing, but I know the woman who came up with the original idea many years ago. I'm not sure of the details, but I think you can come and go as you please. The main detail that I need to find out about is whether you need to pay the rather high admission fee to get into the Seaport in order to participate in the reading.

At any rate, I'm very tempted to join in this year (have to make up my mind in the next 48 hours, I guess).

jul 29, 2006, 11:56am

Hiya Doug!
If you do go then we expect a full report. :o) I've only been to the seaport once.
I've been living here in CT for 5 1/2 years, and I'm still exploring it. I've been trying to find decent used book stores, but I haven't had any luck. I buy a lot of books at library sales.

jul 29, 2006, 12:01pm

Oh, you MUST take a bit of a drive down to Niantic and go to the Book Barn (well, actually, it's a barn with about 4 or 5 other buildings ... fiction in one, kids in another, old books in etc.).


Leave yourself at least a few hours and enjoy!

jul 29, 2006, 12:32pm

Okay, this is freaky! Just minutes ago I was looking at state parks, and was thinking about making a day trip to Rocky Neck with my kids. That Book Barn is just a few miles away from the park.

jul 29, 2006, 1:55pm

Hi guys,

I can't believe I didn't think of this last night when I found out, but if any of you live in SW CT like me (I'm in Norwalk myself), you will probably be interested to know that there's a library book sale going on in Southport this weekend (through Tuesday, actually). It's billed as the largest in New England.

I got this information from this awesome page:
which tells me all about booksales in CT and the surrounding area. I've never been to this Southport one, but I'm definitely thinking of going, especially if it cools off a little.

jul 29, 2006, 6:52pm

Thanks for the great link! Get out the credit cards for gasoline and books, right?

Welcome to our group, too.


"In the end, only kindness matters."

jul 31, 2006, 8:24am

What the hell, huh?

I think I WILL go to the marathon Moby Dick reading at the Seaport. I've always wanted to do it and, well, why not, right?

My intent is to stay up through the whole thing, but we'll see.

Stay tuned for details sometime tomorrow.


"In the end, only kindness matters."

jul 31, 2006, 8:31am

Oh! I hope you enjoy it. It's going to be a tad hot today. Hope it's in indoor thing... with a nice view of Long Island Sound.

jul 31, 2006, 8:41am

It's on the genuine, restored whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan and, from the picture at the website, it looks like they go below if the weather gets too hot or wet.

Packing up my copy of MD along with some pecans and bananas for sustenance.

jul 31, 2006, 9:28am

What about rum?
"Why is the rum always gone?"

jul 31, 2006, 9:55am

Oh! Thanks for reminding me. I almost forgot!

I just called to get my name on the "staying overnight" list. Not allowed to bring a folding chair, but they recommended bringing a sleeping bag. Hmmm ... apparently we get to sit ON the deck! These old bones are going to be rather sore tomorrow, Methinks.

jul 31, 2006, 10:17am

Well, you can also sit on that bag, so it could double as a nice cushion. I hope all your readers have could elocution. :o)
*imagines someone reading at 2:00 am that sounds just like the bishop from the movie The Princess Bride* ;o)

aug 3, 2006, 8:19am

Oh, doogie... are you ever going to tell us about it?

aug 3, 2006, 10:18am

Hi everyone-

I survived the whole night, but spent the next twenty-four hours catching up on sleep and now I'm trying to catch up on all the things I was supposed to be doing on Monday through Wednesday. I'll try to write my own impressions of the event later, but here's an article about it from the Providence-Journal:

(By the way, I'm not sure what I did to make this message appear as a sub-group on the group home page; ignore that one, anyhow, because the link is no good).


"In the end, only kindness matters."

aug 15, 2006, 12:46am

I second Doogie's Book Barn recommendation! I could disappear in that place for an entire day. Come to think of it, I have.

aug 15, 2006, 7:43am

I am going to attempt a visit this week, hopefully. I'll take my kids to the beach for the morning, and then do some book shopping for a while. One of them will be thrilled, and the other will not. Such is life. :o)

aug 17, 2006, 7:38pm

For a first foray, the Book Barn Downtown makes a nice bite-size piece to tackle. Though there are more animals to distract the kids at the main store, if your kids are big enough to wander on their own and know not to pull tails and such. :)

aug 18, 2006, 9:06am

I had to postpone my trip to the Book Barn until next week. Last week I made it up the Northampton, MA and while there we made a visit to The Raven, which has a nice selection of used books. I found 9, and my daughter found 3. The prices were not as good as I expected, but they were still better than full price. :o) Plus, 8 of the 9 books I bought appeared to be brand new. Books are mainly 50% off the cover price at The Raven.

aug 18, 2006, 9:19pm

Ah, haven't been to The Raven in a long time. There's also a store in a town near Northampton called The Book Barn, BTW. At least, there was last time I looked. Not as good as the one in Niantic, but pretty cool all the same. I bought way too many remaindered academic type books there when I was in grad school.

Redigerat: aug 18, 2006, 10:22pm

You know I thought I remembered seeing a sign for a bargain book store on my way to New Hampshire last Summer. I don't remember seeing one this year though. Let me google it.

Edit: I can't find anything. :o(

sep 6, 2006, 2:16pm

I've lived in CT six years and my favorite used bookstore is The Book Exchange in Plainville. I'll have to check out the Book Barn that was mentioned earlier in the thread too. Thanks.

sep 6, 2006, 2:49pm

Oh! That's a lot closer to me than the Book Barn. I may have to check that out, if I ever get a big chunk of time...
Thanks, perlle. :o)

okt 9, 2006, 9:19am

I went to the book barn and they do have a large selection of books, and the prices are great. However, how do you feel about the quality of the books? The books are lefts open to the air, sun, and humidity. And I wonder if they aren't damaging many many books. I guess since most of them are paperbacks, it's not that great of a loss. It just seems a bit strange to me.

okt 12, 2006, 1:26pm

It's mainly the ones in "Hades" that are exposed to the elements. They don't stay in "Ellis Island" too long, and the other buildings (and the downtown branch) are well-protected.

Now, if the *goats* were to get loose, that might be a problem! ;)

I've got to say that their recent reorganization had me befuddled when I visited last week, though I suppose it does make a bit more sense, e.g. grouping al the sci-fi together instead of having paperbacks and hardcovers in separate buildings.

okt 14, 2006, 12:06pm

Thanks for the additional information, szarka.

I actually didn't check out the downtown branch yet. How are the prices there in relation to the barn location?

okt 30, 2006, 3:00am

The books in the downtown branch are priced the same as the others. It's more a question of which books are located where, with mathematics, philosophy, and religion mainly being located downtown rather than at the main branch, for example. But there are $1 paperbacks (and kids books, too, IIRC) in both locations, so I always hit both locations if I can.

Oh, and the other difference is which animals are located where. The downtown branch is inhabited only by Guinea Pigs. :)

dec 3, 2006, 5:26pm

Hi all,

just joined...

I still miss the Jumping Frog that used to have a storefront here in West Hartford, then went to a warehouse south of town, switched to selling over the net but PROMISED us they'd have monthly walk-in sales days open to the public. That was some years ago, 5 maybe? but I never did hear any more about it. Every time I try to access their website it seems to be down...

Anyone familiar with them?

Redigerat: dec 3, 2006, 7:47pm

Welcome, ciciha. :o)

I never made it into their store, because we had just moved here around that time. I did read about it in the paper, though.

ciciha, are there any other places close to you that you would recommend? I never did make it down to Niantic.
Doesn't look like I'll be able to get there any time soon, either. Not that I actually need more books right now. I do like to look... Oh, who am I trying to kid. I always end up buying something.

dec 3, 2006, 8:02pm


I'm broke these days, so not actively book-hunting; never have found a good replacement for Jumping Frog, because they really took care of their stock (not just books jammed onto the shelves any old way). There was also another used book shop here in town that closed down a few years ago; and Books and Birds in Manchester, but I think they closed down too. Brick Walk Book Shop here is still operating but very pricey, and since I buy old books to read and not as an investment, I don't need rare editions.

Believe it or not, often I find the best old books, the kind I like anyhow, in antique stores, used almost as props or decorations there.

Also, I do go to booksales put on by public library friends groups. They have people's discards. I look for old bindings. Have found many treasures that way, and the price is right.

jan 10, 2007, 6:47pm

FYI, the Book Barn in Niantic is having their annual 30% off sale January 27th through February 4th.

jan 10, 2007, 7:07pm


30% everything? Or just selected books?

jan 11, 2007, 11:29am

Maybe all of us Nutmegger LTers should agree to meet for lunch followed by a literary orgy (grin).


"In the end, only kindness matters."

jan 17, 2007, 12:25pm

I'd be up for that if I could work it into my schedule.

jan 18, 2007, 11:39pm

AFAIK it's 30% off everything, but no info on their web site yet.

feb 1, 2007, 8:08pm

Ack, the big sale is going on this week! It ends this weekend!!!

Rats! I don't know if I'm going to be able to get there.


Woe is me.

feb 2, 2007, 6:00am

I'm going to try to get down the the Barn tomorrow (Saturday). Not sure what time, but, well, how about noonish?

If anyone else might be going, let the rest of us here know so that we all can say "Howdy!" to one another if we happen to synchronize. There's a picture of me (with penny-whistle in my nose) at my LT home page (if you're looking for me at the Barn - I'll be wearing a dark blue parka and a Kokopelli baseball hat).

By the way, at the Book Barn website, there's an interesting collection of random book reviews by one of the owners(?), Glenn. There are a couple of books written by folks who lived on the Blasket Islands that I hope to find.


"In the end, only kindness matters."

feb 2, 2007, 8:34am

Couldn't you make it easier for us to identify you by just doing all your book shopping with that whistle up your nose?

If I find out I'll be able to make it I'll let you know.

feb 3, 2007, 5:33pm

Well, oh Joy! A trip to the Book Barn during the annual 30% off sale is just what the doctor ordered to lift one's spirits.

I spent under $30 and got the following:

Our Elusive Willy: A Slice of Concealed Elizabethan History by Ida Sedgwick Proper. I'm pretty sure that noone else in LT will have this book (or, for that matter, any other book she wrote). She lived about half a century ago on my favorite place in the Universe (well, second favorite ... my old bathtub filled with hot water/bubbles and a good book and a snifter full of Benedictine is hard to beat), Monhegan Island, Maine. The Willy in this book (do you suppose she actually meant the double-entendre?) is none other than Willy Shakespeare and she postulates that he was the bastard son of Edmund Spenser.

Next, after an arduous search of both the "Barn" and the downtown store, I finally retrieved an old hardcover edition of 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. The bookstore staff had done an earlier search for me and said that they guessed that it must have been sold sometime during the last 24 hours, but I found it on the "Staff Favorites" shelf under the name of the young lady who told me that she had put it there last week. Over the years, I've given away at least three of my own copies of this book to friends and I just noticed that I haven't had one now for a few years. That sorry condition is now rectified.

The Good Woman of Setzuan by Bertolt Brecht. His plays are wonderful and this is one of his best. In spite of the above-mentioned "sorry condition," I'll probably give this one away it to a friend who loves Brecht, but who doesn't have this one.

The New Harvard Dictionary of Music which I have wanted for over 30 years now, but always balked at the $40 price tag. It is mine today for $5.60!

Two novels by William Gaddis: Carpenter's Gothic and The Recognitions which were both recommended to me last week by a fellow LTer.

And, last, but not least, an old (1946 - First Edition (maybe even Last Edition?)) slim hardcover with illustrations of Andrew Marvell's Coy Mistress along with 11 other of his love poems. Marvell has always been one of my favorite poets and, even though I already have his complete collected poems, this old book was impossible to pass up.

So, maybe I'll see you all NEXT year, right?


"In the end, only kindness matters."

feb 3, 2007, 5:36pm

Sorry, Douglas. By the time I shoveled the walk and the deck off, I didn't feel like going anywhere... Besides, I really need to read some of the books I already have here before I buy any more boxes full.

At least we finally got some snow!

apr 5, 2007, 3:12pm

I got to visit the Book Barn only once--we were passing thru town and my husband gave me 20 mins to "browse" and then we were on our way elsewhere. Well let me tell you I did find 4 books in that 20 mins. but didn't even break the surface of what they have to browse/sell. Maybe one day soon I will venture down there again (w/o family) and take all the time I want to look.

I didn't realize the Book Exchange in Plainvill was still open. Can someone tell me exactly where it is now?

apr 8, 2007, 9:18pm

The Book Exchange had to move several years ago due to contamination.

The new location is not all that far away. It's almost to Southington though. The address is 311 East Street, Suite B. The road turns into Queen Street if you keep driving. Hope that helps.

apr 18, 2007, 3:37pm

Thank you Perlie. I need to check that out when I'm over in that direction some time.

apr 19, 2007, 11:00am

Good article in the New London Day this morning about the Niantic Book Barn.


"In the end, only kindness matters."

apr 19, 2007, 2:29pm


Thanks for the article link. Been to the Book Barn only once and am dying to go back (w/o family this time). I could spend hours just browsing there. Hopefully one day soon!

jun 16, 2007, 5:38am

Again, very short notice here, but to celebrate Bloomsday, the New London Ancient Order of Hibernians is bringing together Joyce-lovers for the following events today (I'll be there, how about you all?):



Bloomsday—June 16th—is an annual celebration among Joyce fans throughout the world, from Fort Lauderdale to Melbourne. It is celebrated in at least aixty countries worldwide, but nowhere so imaginatively, of course, as in Dublin. There the events of Leopold Bloom's day are reenacted by anyone who cares to participate, and his itinerary is followed all across Dublin.

This year New London joins the ranks of those cities celebrating Bloomsday. Why not join in the celebration, starting with an authentic Irish Brunch at Hanafin's Pub at 11:00 AM. Brunch fare is at the participant's expense.

Then take a Dublin Stroll to the New London Library and enjoy the recitations and songs of MEG FITZGERALD



JUNE 16, 2007 12:30 – 2:00 pm


jun 16, 2007, 9:05am

Wow! I might have to keep this in mind for next year. It's a bit too late to join in now.

Thanks for sharing the info, doogie.

jun 23, 2007, 10:27pm

Ah, shucks. If I had known you'd be there, I'd have made the effort to wake up early... Next year!

Redigerat: jun 30, 2007, 12:06pm

(duplicate posting in the Moby Dick group)

Ok, so this time I'm going to try to give a bit more warning than "Oh, by the way ... there will be such and such an event in about 5 minutes at a location that's only two hours away!"

Yes, friends, Herman Melville's birthday is August 1st (funny, it's the same date each year) and the Mystic Seaport's 24-hour marathon reading of Moby Dick will start at noon on July 31st and go till around noon on August 1st. It takes place on the decks of the whaler, Charles W. Morgan (hmm ... are ships' names supposed to be italicized?).

Darn it all, though! My current plans are to be camping in the Adirondacks at that time, so I probably won't be there this year. It is a wonderful experience, though, if you can find the time and energy.

I'd certainly do it again if I were here (funny ... it's a bit like childbirth (I guess); last year, as I was rubbing my sore muscles and tired brain, I remember thinking "Well, I've now been there and done that ... be a long time before I try that again." Now, I only remember how great it was and I'm really going to miss being there this year.).

One final note: somehow I have become this year's Mystic Seaport Poster Child for this event:


"In the end, only kindness matters."

jul 27, 2007, 3:37pm

You know, I am so upset my boyfriend lives in Chicago now. Not only is Melville his favorite writer, and Moby Dick his favorite book, but they actually share a birthday. It would be great to spend his birthday at Mystic Seaport for a reading of Moby Dick. And he can't even come out for a well-timed visit because he got a brand-new puppy a couple weeks ago. Maybe next year though, it would be really fun.

aug 1, 2007, 7:34pm

Ack. Here it is August 1st and I'd completely forgotten about this event. No point showing up halfway through, though. Besides, Harry Potter has already overdrawn my book-reading time budget.

/me sighs

Oh how the summer flies...

aug 9, 2007, 3:53pm

I just read in the Hartford Courant that the annual Friends of Simsbury Library book sale is 9/8 & 9/9 at Simsbury High School, 34 Farms Village Rd. 9-5 on 9/8 and 10-4 on 9/9. I think I might have to check this one out as I've heard its great.

Redigerat: aug 9, 2007, 8:19pm

#53 - Oh! It's usually at Eno Hall! I wonder why they've moved it.
I hope this doesn't mean the prices will go up.

And it IS a very good one, momom248.

aug 10, 2007, 11:13am

Maybe this move means bigger and better sale and hopefully not more $, but I do remember reading somewhere the Simsbury Pub. Library was renovating. I hope they are not looking to raise prices to fund the renovations. I am going to drive out as SHS is my alma mater so I would like to see it w/ the new addition and also check out the book sale.

sep 7, 2007, 8:48pm

Well, that big sale in Simsbury is tomorrow. I'm planning on taking my daughter, but I don't imagine we'll be there before 11:00. So, momom248, if you're there before me, don't buy up EVERYTHING before we get there! ;o)

sep 7, 2007, 9:12pm

Shhhh.... don't tell them. I don't want to compete against other LibraryThingers for the best books.

Redigerat: sep 7, 2007, 9:15pm

Oops - duplicate message - I hit the submit button twice.

sep 7, 2007, 9:20pm

Very funny, sisaruus! Damn, I wish I'd thought to get an LibraryThing tee-shirt at some point. So you'd know who to elbow out of the way. ;o)

sep 8, 2007, 3:02pm

Well, it was HOT HOT HOT in there! I ended up with 18 books for myself and another 20+ for my daughter.

I may go back tomorrow when the leftovers are $8 a bag!

Did anyone else go?

sep 8, 2007, 6:12pm

I went at 9 a.m. and could tell that it was going to heat up as the day progessed (the news just said it was 95 today). I came away with 35 books and will return tomorrow for the $8 a bag sale.
I got some great buys!

sep 8, 2007, 7:42pm

Oh, that is a pile! I peeked at what you added today. Very nice! You are going to love the Obama book.

So, is it $8 a bag all day, or is that after a certain time? I've never gone back for the second day before.

sep 9, 2007, 7:34am

The day starts at $8. I've always gone in the morning so I don't know if they reduce the $8 as the day goes on. Last year, I went with a friend on Sunday and we managed to buy four bags of books. It is an addiction, isn't it?

sep 9, 2007, 10:22am

Yes, it is! But the great thing is that the books will not go bad if you don't read them right away! Unless you consider that the knowledge/info will eventually become 'dated' in some of them. One could argue that even then they are interesting as a snapshot of their particular time.

It's a win/win addiction! ;o)

I won't be heading there until noon or so. I hope there's something worthwhile left.

jan 26, 2008, 12:07pm

Don't forget the 2008 Book Barn (Niantic) 30% off sale runs from January 26 through February 4th. I've no more room fro books, but so what!

jan 26, 2008, 1:51pm

Dagnabbit... I really HAVE to get down there one of these days.

jan 26, 2008, 2:30pm

Nutmegger Bookloving LTers Gathering?

When: Sometime between January 26 and February 4?

Where: Book Barn (with adjournment to a local eating establishment)?

Remember, though, that the Book Barn is in two places; the actual Barn(s) just on the edge of town and the "downtown" annex (with science, music and all that stuff). You HAVE to go to both (they're only about a mile or less apart).

Food: there's Constantine's restaurant/pub just across the street from the downtown place; it used to be pretty good, but it seems to have gone downhill lately (new owners). There are a bunch of other places nearby, though, like Burke's (but I have no idea how that place is these days because it's been years since I ate there). Just a short drive up the main drag is Illiano's (high quality pizza and Italian food for a relatively good price).

Anybody up for meeting this year (if it's a possibility post best days/times and/or impossible days/times here).


"In the end, only kindness matters."

jan 27, 2008, 1:32pm

I'd probably be up for meeting on afternoon or early evening of the Saturday or Sunday, with not-too-expensive food afterward.

It's important to point out that the Book Barn's annual 30%-off sale is happening on these days, making it a natural time to make a trip there even for folks from outside the immediate area. :)

jan 27, 2008, 1:34pm

68: See message 65. I think that's why doogiewray suggested it.

Unfortunately, even with the sale Niantic is a bit far for me to go (75 miles), and in about a month I will no longer be a CT sad!

jan 27, 2008, 4:22pm

Doogiwray is right on about visiting both sites. I love the downtown selection of philosophy and ancient classics. I hope to make it down next weekend.

jan 27, 2008, 4:27pm

#69 - Say it ain't so, nperrin. Where are you going?

jan 27, 2008, 4:35pm

The wheels are in motion for a move to Chicago. But of course I will never leave New England at heart.

I've already decided I'm going to have to start reading a lot of regional fiction once I'm gone. And I really want to make sure that I plan on visiting family to coincide with the summerly Moby Dick reading on Melville's birthday at Mystic.

jan 27, 2008, 5:07pm

Best of luck to you!

I lived near Rockford, IL for 11 years. My advice to you is to bring warm clothes!!! :o)

jan 31, 2008, 7:02pm

The sale doesn't end until MONDAY?
Oh, the temptation!

jan 31, 2008, 7:33pm

I can go on Saturday, just about any time.

Anybody else? Szarka? Clamairy?

If you haven't been there, it is truly a paradisical (sic)experience.


"In the end, only kindness matters."

jan 31, 2008, 7:34pm

I could also go sometime on Monday (i.e., I could go both days ... and buy the books that I passed on the first day).


"In the end, only Shakespeare matters."

jan 31, 2008, 7:35pm

Hell! I might be able to go on Sunday afternoon, for that matter.


"In the end, we're all dead."

feb 3, 2008, 3:57pm

I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass for now.
I hate hate hate having to miss out on the sale, though.

"In the end, you are making me laugh."

feb 25, 2008, 2:04pm

Oh I hadn't checked this thread in awhile and missed the big sale at Book Barn and the get together--Dang it! Well I am going to troop down there one of these days and get me some books!

dec 29, 2008, 12:42pm

Hey, fellow book-buzzards, another year has passed and the Book Barn sale must be imminent. I missed last year and I noted that there are no notices/dates on the Book Barn website.

dec 29, 2008, 7:06pm

Oh! Isn't it sort of a crappy time of year to be shopping in barns and sheds, though?

dec 30, 2008, 10:58am

Hey, for 50% off, I'll slog through the Marshes of Mordor...

jan 8, 2009, 9:42pm

Sorry, it's 30% off. Sale is January 31 to Feb 8.

jan 9, 2009, 11:21am

Shall we all meet there (again)?


"In the end, only kindness matters."

Redigerat: jan 9, 2009, 11:23am

Yes, but only if it doesn't snow every Saturday or Sunday during the sale.

feb 15, 2010, 9:57pm

Hi! I'm new to this group and to LT. What do the nutmeggers do?

feb 15, 2010, 10:00pm

We buy (and read) books!
Welcome, Dave10.

feb 18, 2010, 8:56pm

86, Yes, welcome!

We carve little tiny fake nutmegs out of wood and try to sell them to non-Yankees.

(I guess it just sounds a lot better than Connecticut Constitution-ers)

feb 19, 2010, 7:51am

Well... by-god, I guess its a good thing I'm a Yankee.
Can't think of no use for a wooden nutmeg.

feb 19, 2010, 9:29am

(from Wikipedia):

A popular newspaper column in the 1830's was 'The Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick, of Slickville', which has been often cited as the source of this legend. The original story was:

"...that eternal scoundrel, that Captain John Allspice of Nahant, he used to trade to Charleston, and he carried a cargo once there of fifty barrels of nutmegs: well, he put half a bushel of good ones into each end of the barrel, and the rest he filled up with wooden ones, so like the real thing, no soul could tell the difference until HE BIT ONE WITH HIS TEETH, and that he never thought of doing, until he was first BIT HIMSELF. Well, its been a standing joke with them southerners agin us ever since. "