The 2012 summer tri-athlon of Fairfield County, Connecticut, Friends of the Public Library book sales is over! Hundreds of book buyers have visited Newtown’s C.H.Booth’s Library, Westport’s Public Library, and finally, Southport’s Pequot Library in search of bargains and great reads. Each book sale has its own distinctive level of organization and quality of merchandise. Newtown is “uber”-organized, and Westport caters to large crowds of book buyers with an enormous selection. Southport’s claim to fame is the quality of the texts.
Newtown and Westport book sales offer holding areas for book buyers to place filled boxes or bags. Southport has quality texts. Westport and Newtown book sales have well-organized tables and books sorted into correct genres. Southport has quality texts. Westport and Newtown book sales have volunteers that move with the crowd and refresh tables. Southport has quality texts.
Quality texts are perhaps the only reason to attend the Pequot Library’s book sale. In two hours, I spent $306.00 on four boxes of books for different grade levels. For example:
- 4 copies of Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood- Grade 10 World Literature
- 12 copies of The Help– Grade 11-Civil Rights unit
- 5 copies of Speak-Grade 9
- 6 copies of All the King’s Men-AP English Language and Literature
- 6 copies of The Giver-Grade 7
- 7 copies of Night-Grade 10-Interdisciplinary unit
- 5 copies of Tuesdays with Morrie-Grade 9 Independent read or Grade 11 Coming of Age unit
- 2 copies of The Odessey (Fitzgerald)-Grade 9
- 4 copies of Beowulf (Heaney)-Grade 10 -World Literature
Each text was in mint condition. More than a few looked “unread” by students who must have purchased the text for class. All copies were free of notes or highlighting. I do suspect that there are students in Southport, like my students in Litchfield, who may be opting for Sparknotes support!
Southport offers a Friday preview day with books at double the cost, but by the following Tuesday, books are $5.00/bag.
2012 Hours and Pricing:
Friday, July 27 – 9am to 8pm – All items double the marked price
Saturday, July 28 – 9am to 5:30pm – All items priced as marked
Sunday, July 29 – 9am to 5:30 pm – All items priced as marked
Monday, July 30 – 9am to 6pm – All items half price
Tuesday, July 31 – 9am to 2pm – $5 per bag day!
The volunteers were gracious, but many seemed to be “in-training” or waiting for an authority to make a decision. That did not take away from the quality of the texts. There were books -particularly fiction-that had been placed on the ends of the tables left partially covered by the large tent. Unfortunately, many of these books did get saturated by the soaking rain the night before. This has happened in years past. One wonders what the volunteers could do in the future to avoid the damage that happens when there are texts uncovered; it is sad to see so many good quality books damaged when they could bring a profit to the library or more literature to a classroom.
There are discounts offered to teachers in Bridgeport and New Haven, but with education budgets receiving cuts around the state, perhaps consideration can be given to teachers in other towns as well? Most teachers pay out of pocket for school supplies, not the school districts. Teacher discounts would help support literacy in classrooms throughout the state by creating “book floods” in each school.
My tri-athalon of book sales is over for the summer. My classroom libraries grades 7-12 are almost filled in preparation for 2012-2013. I have collected my goal-a class set of The Help, and added a number of new titles for independent reading or literature circles. There is a book flood at Wamogo Middle/High School And, thanks to Southport, many of these books are quality texts.