While the Friends of the Mount Airy Public Library were forced to cancel most of its book sales over the past year-and-a-half, people in the community kept donating books to the library.
That, at least in part, led to the group’s decision to hold its first-ever August book sale, which opened Wednesday night and continues through Monday.
“This is our first big sale (since the pandemic began),” said Christi Stevens, president of the Friends of the Mount Airy Public Library. “We had a small two-day sale in June outside in the courtyard, it did pretty well, but a lot of folks were interested in when we would have the next big sale. We decided this would be a good time, everyone is going back to school, getting back in that routine.”
And, she added, “We have so many books we don’t know what to do with.”
Normally, the group holds a sale every spring and autumn, but the past three were cancelled as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
So, Stevens said her group decided to try a late-August sale, which began Wednesday night.
“It was a pretty good turnout,” she said Thursday morning.
As is customary with other sales, she said the prices offer folks a chance to pick up books at a price far lower than normal. Hardback books are $2, paperbacks are $1, and children’s books are five for $3. DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes are $1, and she said they are selling a few vinyl records and albums for 25 cents to $1.
On Saturday, any remaining books are half-price, and on Monday, the final day of the sale, customers can fill bags, with a price of $2 per bagful of books.
While the dropping prices might be tempting, Stevens said there are advantages to not waiting.
“It’s better to come out early, you get the better pick of the stock, some best sellers, popular books,” she said.
The group is selling other items as well — Friends of the Library book bags for $10, as well as a few library chairs on sale for $2.
She said the group is hoping to have its normal autumn sale later this year, as well as the spring sale next year. She’s not yet sure on making August a regular event.
“We’ll just have to see how it goes, so far the feedback from last night, there are people who are really excited we’re having a sale, there are people who really missed coming in and shopping for books…people really missed that. I guess it depends on inventory.”
The sales all help the library keep buying books and offer a variety of programs.
“All the money goes to library programming and any needs the library might have — buying books, equipment, computers, anything the library would have a need for.”
The sale continues today, Thursday, until 8 p.m., then will be from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, and Monday from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.