Columbia Public Library holds annual fall book sale

Saturday, September 10, 2011 | 9:05 p.m. CDT; updated 6:20 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 29, 2011
Shoppers look through mystery books at Columbia Public Library's fall book sale on Saturday. The sale included books of all genres sold for low prices.

COLUMBIA — Hundreds of people attended the annual fall used book sale at the Columbia Public Library on Saturday, poring over thousands of books, records, CDs and other items.

The sale was to continue from 1 to 4:45 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.

The Friends of the Columbia Public Library conducted the book sale. Debbora Jones, president of the organization, said the group consists entirely of volunteers who work year-round to sort and organize books.

The Friends holds sales throughout the year, all money going to the Columbia Public Library. The fall sale is the group’s largest, including at least 27,000 books, as well as records, CDs, DVDs, maps, magazines and other items, Jones said.

Last year, the Friends gave $89,000 to the library, its largest gift ever. The fall sale has produced $16,000 to $19,000 during each of the last three years.

Some of the money goes to the library’s One Read program, Jones said. One Read encourages adults throughout the community to read the same book and participate in discussions related to it. This year the book is “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.

Everything at the sale is donated by the public.

“Most of the stuff we get, we don’t know where it comes from,” Jones said. “The boxes just appear on the dock.”

Books worth at least $50 are put up for auction on eBay. Last month, a set of Australian comic books sold for $75 to a buyer in Australia.

Fiction books were piled on tables in the loading dock behind library, where bookmobiles are usually parked. Nonfiction was inside the library, down the hall from the front desk.

The sale drew people of many ages and interests.

La-Shon Archibald, a disc jockey, bought 27 classical and R&B records. After the book sale, he planned to go into the library to do homework for a class at Columbia College.

Leslie Canole, brought her granddaughter, Cheyenne Canole-Lasley, 3. While Canole sifted through items on a table in the Specials room, Cheyenne lay underneath the table on the floor, smiling.

Afterward, Canole carried out two bags with photography, romance, music, murder-mystery and audio books. She said she would finish one of the bags, which had 20 murder-mystery paperbacks, in about three weeks.

Nancy Pelc waited in the lobby for her two daughters to finish shopping. Pelc had bought books with cross-stitch patterns, American history books and kids’ biography books.

"I love books, and I love the prices," she said.

Some books seem to show up on the tables year after year. Volunteer Orinda Prell will have placed about 15 copies of "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown by the end of the weekend.

There are books, like old text books or encyclopedias, which Jones said are "impossible" to sell..

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