Organizers of the 39th Annual Friends of Booth Library Book Sale kicked off their highly anticipated fundraiser with a song and a special gift to a beloved longtime volunteer Saturday morning. Then it was time to open the doors at Reed Intermediate School and stand aside as a flood of patrons swarmed stacks and racks of offerings.
The calm before the storm was marked by nearly 100 volunteers presenting longtime Friends of the Library volunteer Carm O’Neil with a new cane. She apparently lost one during one of her trips to help fellow organizers preparing for the huge event.
Then, a small cluster of her fellow “Friends” serenaded Ms O’Neil with a customized version of “My Favorite Things,” substituting the original lyrics for: “When my knees hurt, when my back aches, when I'm feeling sad / I simply remember the money we make and then I don’t feel so bad.”
Volunteers including former Library Board President William Lavery arrived on site handling last-minute logistics and selling admission tickets bright and early at 7 am.
The 39th annual book sale drew hundreds during its opening few hours July 12. Many patrons went rushing in with shopping bags, luggage carts and storage bins to carry the volumes they anticipated finding among the racks.
Visitors on opening day ranged from toddlers to seniors, many who queued up in the hours before doors opened only to hustle into the school headed for the particular genres of choice. Many also came from out of town and out of state.
Dana Trodella, who motored in from Boston, found himself nose to nose with fellow Bay State resident Drew Griffin, from Cambridge, in the Fiction section of the gym, while Holly Beckett of Canton, chatted with Frank Volkman of Cold Spring, N.Y., over a table full of rare and collectible tomes.
At the same time, 4½-year-old Arya Thirumurthi of Danbury was busily occupied perusing a seemingly endless table full of Walt Disney picture books on the far end of the Reed intermediate school’s cafetorium.
By Monday morning — when all remaining items are traditionally offered for half their marked price — there were still many patrons picking through the remaining selections. Volunteer Toni Earnshaw said she and her many dedicated assistants were very pleased with the large turnout.
Sales for audio books on CD were particularly good, Ms Earnshaw said. Only two boxes of the CDs remained at 10 am on Monday, down from the original 14 boxes set up for the start of the sale.
The book sale continues through Wednesday, July 16. Hours on Monday and Tuesday, July 14-15, are 9 am to 7 pm. The school is at 3 Trades Lane, off Wasserman Way.
On Tuesday, visitors are invited to $5 a bag day.
All remaining books are free on Wednesday, when the sale will run from 9 am to noon only.