The Friends of the Homewood Public Library is $225 richer, thanks first to a generous donation of a specialty book, and then to a Homewood resident who had the winning bid in a recent auction.
The large collector coffee table book “Michael Jackson Opus” was dropped off as a donation at the library several years ago. It was forgotten about until recently and an auction was announced. There were two bidders.
The winner, John Burt, said he learned of the auction from a flyer the library produced. He bought the book as a birthday gift for his daughter, Crystal, who is a huge Michael Jackson fan.
The sale is believed to have fetched one of the highest prices for any book or item the Friends have sold throughout the years of their book sales.
When research began on how to price the book, it was discovered that some copies are selling for well over $1,000. Rose Olsar of the Friends of the Homewood Library said it was decided to auction off the book, and the price was set at $225.
“We decided on a cost based on the condition of the Opus,” she said, noting that the cover had some slight gouges, although the 404 pages crammed with pictures, written tributes and drawings were in pristine condition. The book also came with a white glove that was still in its cellophane package, a representation of Jackson’s iconic sequined white glove.
“Michael Jackson Opus” measures 18 by 13 inches and weighs a hefty 26 pounds. It comes in a specially-made red box with a cloth cover that carries a Nate Giorgio drawing of Jackson dancing. It has 300 color and black and white photos, many that had previously been unpublished.
The book was published in 2010. It was considered the “official tribute to the King of Pop” and was approved and endorsed by Michael Jackson before his untimely death in June 2009. It covers 10 topics: Child Star, Voice, Composer, Moonwalk, Vision, One Glove, Friend, Heart, Art Lover, and Global Icon.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Friends of the Homewood Library hasn’t been accepting any book drop-offs. For months the library was closed, but even now the group isn’t in a position to hold its regular book sales.
Olsar said the library has many of its donations available for purchase on the honor system. Patrons are invited to browse the shelves at the front door and on the second floor during the library’s regular hours.