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All Ages Flock To Friends’ Book Sale For Affordable Finds



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A line of people with tote bags and boxes in hand wrapped around the sidewalk of Reed Intermediate School on the morning of Saturday, July 10, for the much-anticipated return of the Friends of the CH Booth Library’s Book Sale. Anticipation was particularly high since the nonprofit’s annual book sale was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the official grand opening, volunteers gathered in the school’s lobby to listen to book sale chair Denise Kaiser’s lively speech, a beloved tradition that boosts moral and kicks off the event. Concluding her sentiments, Kaiser said to all those around her, “Thank you, thank you, thank you” for their hard work to make the sale happen.

All the volunteers wore orange T-shirts this year imprinted with the phrase, ‘Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading’ — a quote from Austrian poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke.

Volunteers were stationed throughout the lobby, cafetorium, gymnasium, and auxiliary gymnasium, ready to assist patrons. They passed out maps and had multiple checkout tables to make it an efficient and enjoyable experience for shoppers.

When the doors opened at 10 am, a respectful crowd calmly entered the building and segued into people briskly walking to different areas of the sale. Everyone was required to wear face masks indoors.

People all ages came out to shop — some of whom were attending the book sale for the very first time, others who have been making the pilgrimage for years.

The Friends of the CH Booth Library Book Sale offered something for everyone, with more than 130,000 books in a plethora of genres, as well as jigsaw puzzles, games, CDs, DVDs, and LPs.

In addition to running July 10, when the admission fee was $5 and free to those under 18 years old, the book sale had a preview of the event on Friday for 200 individuals with a $40 admission fee. The sale ran a total of five days, including half-price day on Sunday, $5 bag day on Monday, and free day on Tuesday.

Friends of the C.H. Booth Library President Toni Earnshaw told The Newtown Bee on July 13, “Every single day, eager book lovers lined up to come back to the sale after a year starved of book sales. The crowds proved that people are still reading books, and that they are ready to get back to safely gathering for events they care about.”

The successful turnout helped make 2021 a standout year for the book sale.

Kaiser reported, “Sales totaled in excess of $117,000, making it the second-biggest sale in our 45-year history.”

Earnshaw added, “This accomplishment is only possible with the help of an incredibly talented and dedicated group of volunteers, especially the 50 or so who volunteer all year round, and throughout the sale. There are another 50 or so volunteers who work the sale, including some wonderful Newtown High School students, without whom we couldn’t open the doors. I want to thank all of our volunteers, but most of all I would like to thank book sale chair Denise Kaiser, who somehow manages to organize and inspire the volunteers to give it their all and to have a good time doing it. Without her leadership, this sale would not be what it is.”

According to the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library’s website, proceeds from the sale go toward supporting the library with books, CDs, DVDs, programs for children and adults, database and media streaming services, and special projects to enhance the patron experience.

Donors for this year’s book sale were Associated Refuse Haulers, Armstrong Moving and Storage, Bagel Delight, Big Y, Capri’s Pizzeria, Caraluzzi’s Markets, Carminuccio’s Pizza, Durant’s Party Rentals, Franco’s Pizza & Pasta, Lions Bleeker Street Pizza, My Place Restaurant, Newtown Savings Bank, Papa Al’s, Pudelz T-Shirts, Sal e Pepe, Stew Leonard, Stop and Shop, Tambascio’s Italian Grill, and uBreakiFix.

The Friends of the C.H. Booth Library will begin accepting donations again on Wednesday, July 21.

For more information about the annual Friends of the CH Booth Library Book Sale, visit boothbooksale.org.


Reporter Alissa Silber can be contacted at alissa@thebee.com.

A line assembled in front of Reed Intermediate School for the grand opening of the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library’s Book Sale on the morning of Saturday, July 10. —Bee Photos, Silber
Friends of the C.H. Booth Library member Mark Ashbolt and president Toni Earnshaw, seated, help with admissions for the book sale and stamp everyone’s hand.
Friends of the C.H. Booth Library Book Sale Chair Denise Kaiser, left, gave a speech to all the volunteers before the official start of the sale.
Jo Andersen, who has been a volunteer with the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library Book Sale for six years and organizes the “chick lit” and romance section during the year, proudly models a hat handmade by her granddaughter Samantha that is decorated with face masks.
A constant flow of masked patrons enter the Reed Intermediate School lobby on opening day of the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library Book Sale with tote bags and boxes in hand.
The Friends of the C.H. Booth Library volunteers wore orange shirts during the book sale that read, “Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading. R.M. Rilke,” on the back.
Shoppers eagerly check out the music section of the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library Book Sale.
In the cafetorium of Reed Intermediate School, people peruse a wide selection of books, games, and music.
Corinne Moore and her niece Alivia look at the children’s books selection at the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library Book Sale on July 10. It was Alivia’s first time attending the sale, and the two were having a fun time shopping together.
In the lobby of Reed Intermediate School, volunteers Eileen Gallo, center, and Gloria Ricco, right, hand out maps of the book sale layout.
With each table marked by genre, shoppers navigate the gymnasium of the Reed Intermediate School to find books that interest them.
Members of BSA Troop 70 ran a concession stand with food and refreshments under a tent outside Reed Intermediate School during the book sale on Saturday.
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