If not for this spot I’d barely have any finds in 2023. Thankfully (for me at least), these guys just keep curbing recycling bins full of books on a near weekly basis. This has been a near constant phenomenon for about six months now, though it happened occasionally even before that – I first stopped here for a big pile of trash way back in 2021.
It’s funny, because from the street there’s no indication whatsoever that this blue bin would be filled with anything but the usual tin cans and whatnot. I myself wouldn’t ever have stopped for it, if not for the fact that I found cool stuff here previously.
Sometimes, trash picking can feel kind of magical.
This is a decent sized recycling bin so the books are piling up in my garage. These are just the ones I want to research more, or feel the need to sequester for now. Others go straight to the yard sale bin, or occasionally back to the curb.
A lot of the books in this picture are from sets, so I have to figure out if I have a complete set, keeping in mind that another load of books comes nearly ever week and thus a currently incomplete set might become complete with time. I just recently completed a thirty book set of Encyclopedia Britannicas from the early 1900s for instance – I found the first 27 months ago, and then another two and the final book more recently.
That might actually be a nice score. I know the market got flooded with encyclopedias and a lot of them are pretty much worthless, but the old Britannica sets do quite well.
Anyways, I figured that today I’d show you a few of my favourite individual books from this haul, all of which I found relatively recently.
I’ve found several old books about Montreal, which are always fun and easy to sell due to local interest. This one was written by a guy named N. M. Hinshelwood and was published in 1903. It seems to be hard to find original copies – most of the ones I see in my research are reprints or those “print on demand” books that are becoming more common. The only original from that list of 36 I linked to above is priced at about 50 USD, and there’s one other on eBay for about 75$, though there’s no sold prices that indicate whether or not those are realistic prices. You can see some pages that relate to our current season below.
Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. I figured this “Complete Book of Fortune” was a good find right away, and indeed it seems to sell for 100-200$. It was published around 1935 (no date, but includes a “birthday calendar” for 1936) by Associated Newspapers Ltd. At 640 pages, it is certainly very complete and discusses topics ranging from palmistry to the “science” of phrenology. There’s a few extra pics below, and some more in that link.
Published in 1999, this is one of the newer books from this collection. The cover was unassuming, but it looked nicely made so I did some research and discovered it was a gem. It’s one (signed) copy of 175 from the regular edition of Inishbream by Theresa Kishkan. The key factor is probably that it was published by Barbarian Press, a “fine press publisher” based in Mission, BC, and features fancy paper (my simplified version of what’s described on the second picture, lol) and woodblock prints. It sold pretty quickly on eBay for 700$. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for books by this publisher going forward.
Finally, you all seemed to like my late 1700s almanacs, so I assume you’ll like this liturgical book from 1675.
It’s written in Latin (I think), so you can kind of make out some words. The content seems to relate to the Roman Ritual, but I don’t know much about that. I’m hoping you guys can help me out with this one. I don’t know much about value yet, besides finding that other liturgical works from this time have sold for between a few hundred and several hundred dollars.
This is one of the oldest books I’ve found. Just a bit older was this one from 1610, though it was in worse condition. This one is in pretty good shape considering it’s nearly 350 years old!
These book tossers are truly absurd. I hope for my sake (both from an entertainment, as well as financial perspective) that they continue tossing out great, easily flipped, and often antique books for a while yet. Either way, I definitely have more blog-worthy stuff from this spot to share here in the future.
1. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay (Canada, US), Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US) – FYI these are Ebay Partner Network links, so I make a few bucks if you sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay using these links
2. Facebook page
3. Follow @garbagefinds and @garbagefindssells (selling account, operated by someone else) on Instagram
4. Email: email@example.com – note that I can’t fulfill most requests for items, many are already gone by the time they are posted here.