Just back from one of my favorite library book sales-the winter book sale in Westport, Connecticut, which is running during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The “luck of the Irish” provided sun and spring-like temperatures; the advertised “winter sale” was a misnomer.
The Friends of the Westport Library is responsible for the organization of this winter sale and for the outdoor summer sale as well. While many CT libraries offer quality books at their library book sales, the Westport library book sales always offer quality books in great quantities! This particular sale featured hardcover, paperback and and trade fiction, and many tables dedicated to videotape.
The volunteer Friends of the Library that work the checkout table are polite and accommodating. There are also helpful volunteers who tidy the tables sorting books into their genres. I was particularly fortunate to have one volunteer see my growing bag contents and offer to tally the books in the hold section while I continued to shop. Checkout for this sale, as it was with the summer sale, was fast and efficient, despite the number of books I gathered.
This Saturday morning, the sale was particularly rich with young adult (YA) novels. I averaged 17 books in a bag, and purchased seven bags of books. Most of these books were single copies of books on my “must have” list, for example, I picked up a single copy of Nancy Farmer’s House of the Scorpion and a single copy of James Dasner’s Maze Runner.
But there were also a number of copies of books we teach in our curriculum. On this trip, I picked up five copies of Laurie Halse Andersen’s Speak, four copies of Avi’s Nothing but the Truth, and a dozen copies of Betty Smith’s classic A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. There were also copies of contemporary novels that are popular with the high school students. These include Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and Curtis Sittenfield’s Prep.
I spent a total of $122.50 on used books at this sale for 119 books for grades 7-12. This amount of money represents the retail price ($122.98) of the 17 books in the picture if we had purchased the books brand new. Because of this used book sale, our payment to the Friends of the Westport Library allows us to afford an additional 102 books for our classroom libraries.
The purchase of gently used books continues to be a great resource for our classroom libraries. Our expansion of titles through used book purchases allows our students to independently select a book to read and allows teachers to create literature circles with a variety of reading materials for different reading levels.
The proceeds from these used book sales directly benefit local libraries, while these used books are “recycled” from one reader to another. The Westport Public Library Giant Summer Book Sale, will be held July 21-24, 2012. I will be there, and I encourage you to go as well!