The five foot shelf is a collection of 50 Harvard classic books, and Olivia Walton takes pity on the book salesman who is trying to sell them, and puts a deposit on them. Instead of placing her order though, he uses the money to buy a doll for his daughter. After John finds out that their money has been used for this, he tells the salesman to keep the doll but to leave Waltons Mountain. The salesman realises the error of his way though and returns with both their money and an apology for the family. The Walton family decide to go ahead with their order though and all are very excited when the first package arrives.