Summer 2005

Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
Ph: 800-663-1273
For Immediate Release

The year was 1908 when Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, settled into Stormfield in Redding, Connecticut, the house that would be his final home. With more volumes than his home library could hold, Twain contributed his books as the beginning of the town's first library, which was housed in a small local chapel. Two years later, the author funded a new library building, donating money from the sale of a farm left by his daughter, Jean, who died in 1909. Twain himself died in 1910, too soon to see opening of the Jean Clemens Memorial Library in 1911.

Now housed in an even finer new building and renamed for its benefactor, the Mark Twain Library ( is best known for the mammoth annual book sale that will celebrate its 45th anniversary this year from September 2 to 5. A bonanza for bibliophiles, the sale will include over 50,000 books, both new and used, all donated, all in fine condition. Special offerings include a Collector's room, a Children's/Young Adults/Parenting area, a new sets area, and a huge selection of general books. The Fair is held at the Redding Community Center, Rte. 107 in Redding.

Hours for the sale are Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday nine a.m. to noon. Admission and parking are free. Book prices are doubled on Friday, the favored day for collectors. Any books remaining by Monday are free.

Visitors can also browse some of the library's treasures, including the Mark Twain Collection. This includes 300 titles remaining from his original donated collection of 3000, some with marginal writing in his own hand, as well as over 150 books on or about Mark Twain.

Another important cache is the Massie Collection with over 150 books about the Civil War, including biographies, individual battles, diaries, and analyses, and some 300 books on American, European and Oriental art, plus the history of art. The library's Hutchinson Collection holds some 1,500 books on Eastern religions, beliefs and customs of ancient Egypt, and books on Islam, philosophy, yoga, theosophy, and the occult. Translations of sacred books are well represented.

Book lovers will also find two other libraries in Northwest Connecticut's Litchfield Hills with interesting books for sale. The Kent Memorial Library ( in Kent holds a book sale every weekend through Columbus Day. The huge selection available on tables just outside the building ranges from mysteries and bestsellers to excellent books for children to a wide range of non-fiction books carefully organized by topic. Most are donations from the libraries of Kent residents, but a number of new books are also donated.

And still more books are to be found at the Hunts Library (860-824-7424) in Falls Village, where a sale is held the first Saturday of each month year-round, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information on literary attractions and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the area contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield CT 06759-0968, call 800-663-1273, or check the Internet at