DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have two old sets of encyclopedias. I would like to know who would be interested in them. One set is from 1954, the other the 1970s to 1980s. Any information would be appreciated. — Ellie Jodrey, [email protected]

ANSWER: Sun Spots fears that the day of the encyclopedia has passed, other than online (for example, There is no market for them in this country. It used to be viable to ship old books to poorer, less technologically advanced countries, but since the U.S. Post Office eliminated the inexpensive, slow-boat shipping rate, it is not economically feasible. The only suggestion Sun Spots has is that you contact your transfer station about the possibility of recycling them.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have dozens of hardcover books from National Geographic and others about various topics, mostly detailing certain areas of the United States, but others about historic times. They were given to me in the 1970s and 1980s and are in full color with photos and text.

Some topics include New England, the Southwest, the westward migration, scenic places, national parks and others detailing the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and Native Americans.

I have others that are in a larger format (used to be called “coffee table” books) that contain full-color photos and text of places in a specific country (such as Ireland or England) or of natural wonders.

The used bookstores won’t take them. They need to find a good home where there are inquisitive people who don’t mind holding a real book in their hands and who like to travel or dream, or want to know more about this country’s history.

These books are offered at no charge. I would gladly donate any or all of them to any organization willing to accept them, or to any individuals. Please call 782-2068; leave a message if no one is available. — Cam Churchill, Auburn

ANSWER: Unfortunately, coffee table books are also losing their allure for many people. Book publishing overall is struggling, with the Internet and television taking more and more of people’s time. But perhaps a teacher or two (see the next letter) might be interested.

Readers might be interested to know that recent statistics from Nielsen show that the average American watches more than four hours of television each day, adding up to nine years over a 65-year lifespan. Incidentally, senior citizens tend to watch the most TV but report less satisfaction and enjoyment from doing so (

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m starting in a new position in a new school, and the first-grade class that I have inherited does not have a classroom library. If anyone has some books that their children have outgrown or no longer use and would like to donate them to my classroom, I would be very appreciative. Kaitlynn, [email protected], 754-9781

DEAR SUN SPOTS: You recently put me onto a way to find an exercise album by Jack LaLanne, and I was able to buy it. I’m very grateful to you for that help. I would like to burn the album onto a CD, as the record is quite old, as I would like to ensure its life.

I seem to recall seeing a query about burning CDs in the past, but I cannot remember the information or when it appeared in your column. I don’t think it appeared all that long ago.

Thank you for whatever you can tell me. I can see why people appreciate your efforts to help out. — Anne via e-mail

ANSWER: Sun Spots just recently listed those names. Here they are again.

Stanley Howard, [email protected],, 678-2770 or 860-0841, recording studio in Salem: transferring LP records and cassette tapes to CD

Al Ibarguen, Wilton, [email protected], 645-4250: transfers LP albums to CD for $4 per album, also VHS and camcorder tapes to DVDs

Richard Rau, 225-5222: transfers of music from LP to CD, transfers of audio cassette tapes and of reel-to-reel tapes to CD

Larry, [email protected], 784-224: LPs changed to CDs

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 [email protected]

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