Local Support Boosts Annual Book Sale

The Annual Friends of the C.H. Booth Library Book Sale ended Wednesday, July 16, and while the final tally is not yet in, Friends spokesperson Denise Kaiser said that she is optimistic that the numbers generated this year will be comparable to last year’s sale, which generated $108,000. Bills and reimbursement by the book recycling center discoverbooks.com, which takes away the very last of the books for resale or pulp, will determine the final numbers.

“If all is perfect,” Ms Kaiser said, both the gross and the net “should be about equal to last year’s sale.”

Despite not knowing the exact amount raised, she said that there is no doubt that the Friends will be able to keep its annual donation commitment to the library, and be able to fund another round of the Vision Project at C.H. Booth Library this year.

One observation that Ms Kaiser had concerned the movement of both crowds and the items being sold this year.

“The pace of the sale has changed,” she said. In early years, the opening day was always frantic, but now it seems less harried.

The proportion of sales has shifted too, again most noticeable on Saturday, the first day of the sale.

“We are getting more ‘regular’ people proportionately to the dealers. And the dealers that come [to the sale] now tend to be online dealers,” she said, rather than dealers planning to resell through a brick and mortar space.

It is a fact, Ms Kaiser said, that attendance on Saturday, July 12, was good, but less than in other years, but per attendee, purchases went up. As used book outlets continue to decrease in number, she predicts book lovers will be purchasing more books at book sales.

At the July sale in Newtown, certain categories shone.

“The classics and the children’s books sold very well. DVDs always do well,” said Ms Kaiser. Sales of the CDs, donations of which were double those received in 2013, were slow but steady. “By the end of the sale, all had sold. Rare and collectibles did well, too.

“John Renjilian [a rare books expert who volunteers with Friends] does a great job describing the items,” Ms Kaiser said, and that attracts private collectors and dealers. “This year, it was not the ‘one book’ [that was the draw], so we saw a bigger cross-section of buyers there,” she said.

The final day of the sale, as always, was a mecca for charitable organizations.

“The majority of the leftover books went on Wednesday — free day — to local and regional charitable groups that come every year to take books,” Ms Kaiser said, leaving only a few “pretty ripped up” books for the book recycling center to claim.

She attributes the success of the book sale to local support.

“It was fabulous. Businesses contributed food, drinks, and materials to us,” Ms Kaiser said. “The volunteer group is astounding. We have scores of people who volunteer,” she said, for which the Friends is grateful, as well as for the many community members who shop at the book sale.

The 2014 Annual Friends of the C.H. Booth Library Book Sale may be barely a thing of the past, but volunteers are already preparing the new donations for next year’s sale. 

“People who love books, love books,” Ms Kaiser emphasized, “and will come to purchase books.”

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