Spring book sale rakes in a small haul for Clayton library

sgilman@newsobserver.comMarch 28, 2014 

Bet Barber, left, a member of the Clayton Library Board, helps customer Rebecca Baker of Smithfield select her purchases.

SAMANTHA GILMAN — sgilman@newsobserver.com

The three-day book sale at Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library was a success, albeit a smaller one than in years past.

“We didn’t have as many books as we did in the past, and hopefully we can get more for the next sale,” said Clayton Councilman Art Holder, a member of the Friends of the Library, the group that organized the book sale. “But the sale went really good.”

During the “pre-sale” on Friday night, when a bag of books cost $25, people flocked to the library to hunt for written treasures.

“We had a line from the door all the way around the building,” said Jane Barnes, a member of the Friends of the Library. “It was exciting.”

The pre-sale was probably the most popular day, Holder said, even though the price of a bag of books fell to $15 on Saturday and $10 on Monday.

“People like to get first choice, and they’re not as pushed,” Holder said. “They just took their time, went around, and looked and looked.”

Over the next Saturday and Monday, people flowed through the library to pour over the tables of books and make off with their finds.

“It’s been steady,” town historian Pam Baumgartner said Saturday afternoon.

Smithfield resident Rebecca Baker came to the sale because she happened to be in town with her son. “He had a T-ball game today, so we just stopped by,” Baker said. She was most interested in the children’s books and the boxes of puzzles.

The sale continued through Monday, when one woman bought a record number of five bags of books, “which was amazing,” Holder said. People lingered until 7 p.m. Monday, right as the sale was closing.

In addition to having fewer books for sale this spring, the book sellers who normally swoop in at the end and take the remaining books never showed up, Holder said.

“That’s not going to happen this year,” he said. “The people that do it have too many books on hand.”

Over the course of the sale, the Friends of the Library took in almost $3,800, according to Holder. Two years ago, the group raised $4,000.

The Friends of the Library, a nonprofit organized in 1976 to raise money for a new library building, stages a spring and fall sale each year. The first book sale took place March 16, 1991.

Today, the group uses money raised at the book sales for things not covered by the library’s budget, such as book signings, computer tables and the library’s popular summer reading program.

This year’s fall book sale will take place Sept. 12, 13 and 15. For more information, call Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library at 919-553-5542.

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