LAHAINA - The Maui Friends of the Library bookstores at The Wharf Cinema Center and Queen Ka'ahumanu Center have been gifted with a treasure trove of more than 200 rare books that date into the 1600s.
The books are available and soon will be on sale at the Kahului store as well.
The donor is Jules Bernard Jr., whose family has collected books for three generations.
Joanne Carroll displays a book published 93 years ago.
Bernard shipped the books here a number of years ago after relocating to Maui. Many were originally owned by the Ragna Lodbrog School of Music in New Rochelle, New York.
Maui Friends of the Library Manager of Stores Joanne Carroll said many of the books sell for less than $10, but several rare editions are priced at $200 or more.
A veteran bookseller, Carroll prices the books by researching the Internet and discounting somewhat what they could be purchased for online.
Bernard's donations included a complete 50-volume set of "Chronicles of America," a popular series of small books on topics ranging from the history of machine politics in New York to the lives the presidents. The books are being sold individually.
The earliest book is a 1757 reprint of a book originally published in 1647. One book lover noted that "some of these books are irresistible."
They include famous Baedeker travel guides on Greece, Switzerland and other countries published at the turn of the century and numerous works of fiction.
MFOL established new stores in Lahaina and Kahului several years ago. The stores have been flooded with donated books.
The nonprofit, which is more than 100 years old, dispenses all of the proceeds to local libraries to buy books, host special events and make other needed purchases.
The restored Lahaina Public Library will soon get additional bookshelves from MFOL to better house its collection.