Proudly, I was one of the founding members of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California way back around 1975. And what began as gross roots movement by amateur historians has turned into a respected historical society with a number of original publications to its credit. The latest is a book called Portraits of Pride, Volume II, a $40 coffee table style book over almost 300 pages with biographical profiles of prominent Chinese Americans, mostly from the Los Angeles area. As with the predecessor book from 8 or 9 years ago, Portraits of Pride, thousands of copies of the book have been earmarked for donation to public libraries throughout the country.
Unfortunately, I have not had to time to actively participate in Society affairs during the past 30 years. Indeed, I hadn't had time to procure a copy of the new book, either at one of the monthly society meetings, or at the sporadically open society Heritage Center in Chinatown. So finally I decided that my best bet to buy the book would be through Amazon.com. But strangely, while Amazon carried the first volume, it didn't seem to stock the new, second version. However after doing some digging, I found that while they had no new copies of the book, they had a large number of used copies, which seemed a little odd. Upon closer examination, I also saw a number of the used copies were marked "like new" and even "in original shrink wrap." So I purchased the latter copy for $7.50. The seller was listed as the Morgan Hill (CA) public library. So that's what libraries do with donated books!