Readers divided on crossword puzzle difficulty

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: Many of us are waiting patiently (and impatiently) to hear when the “easier” crossword puzzles will be back again in your paper! Please give us a clue soon! Thanks. — P.L. via e-mail

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Please do not change the format of the daily crossword puzzle. It is a challenge as it should be. — Lorraine Barre via e-mail

DEAR SUN SPOTS: It must be difficult for you not being able to satisfy everyone on the crossword puzzle. I can sympathize with both groups of people. You do the best you can, and for that I thank you.

I enjoy both the easy and the hard ones; I am lucky to have the Kennebec Journal for the easy and the Sun Journal for the more difficult ones. I love the challenge of it. Keep up the good work you do for the public. — Jean Cochran, Winthrop

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ANSWER: Sun Spots doesn’t make these decisions, but she has shared your comments with those who do.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I own the entire works of Helen McInnes and want to know how much they are worth. I’ve tried looking online and know that some range from $6 to $36 each, but how do I get a pricing of the whole set? How do I find book dealers who would be interested in these purchased as a set? I have 12 hard covers and 10 soft covers. — Debra Sirois, debsirois@yahoo.com

ANSWER: Much of the collecting market, including books, has moved online, and prices tend to reflect whatever a particular auction on eBay brings that day. Mr. Sun Spots shops online a great deal and often sees the same exact item sell for widely varying prices, so stating a precise price could be difficult. One thing you could do would be to place your books for sale on eBay with a reserve. This enables you to make sure that you get at least your minimum price, that is, if you want to sell your books.

There are still a few used bookstores around. Scott Wilson, owner of Carlson and Turner Antiquarian Books, 241 Congress St., Portland, 773-4200, said he sells both online and through his storefront. He also buys books.

Storefront book buyers are often disadvantaged by eBay. People who want to sell their books find out what they are worth from someone like Mr. Wilson and then sell their books directly online, where they can get more money for them, since there’s no commission for the store. Sun Spots doesn’t think that seems very fair — shouldn’t knowledge and information have value?

Another avenue for information on valuable books is journals used by professional collectors, such as Firsts (www.firsts.com) or Fine Books & Collections (www.finebooksmagazine.com).

At www.mainebooksellers.org/printermemberlist.htm you can look for members of the Maine Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Senior Companion Program is looking for caring people in the Lewiston-Auburn and Wilton-Farmington areas. Senior companions spend 15 to 20 hours a week making the day a little brighter for homebound and isolated elderly. The program is sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and is partnered with Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice, Clover Health Care and SeniorsPlus.

Companions receive a tax-free stipend, mileage reimbursement and other benefits. If you are 55 years of age and meet the income guidelines, you may be eligible to become a senior companion. For more information, please call me at 1-800-287-1482. Thank you for caring. — Anna Saar, asaar@umext.maine.edu

DEAR SUN SPOTS: L/A Arts, the designated Arts Agency for Lewiston-Auburn and surrounding communities, is looking for volunteers. From hanging posters for upcoming events and ushering at performances to office tasks and serving on committees, we have a variety of volunteer opportunities available.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for L/A Arts, please contact Penny at 782-7228 or you can e-mail drumm@laarts.org. Thank you! Jackie Leclerc, Interim Volunteer Coordinator, L/A Arts

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com.

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