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They're reading with relish

The American Association of Unicersity Women's annual Used Book Sale has books for all appetites

The American Association of Unicersity Women's annual Used Book Sale has books for all appetites

May 01, 2003|by TAMELA BAKER

tammyb@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG - Francis Bacon wrote that "some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."

The American Association of University Women has books for all appetites at the annual Used Book Sale running through Sunday at the Washington County Agricultural and Education Center on Sharpsburg Pike.

More than 58,000 used books went on sale when the doors opened Wednesday morning, according to AAUW volunteer Lu Marletta, who was busy keeping track of some two dozen volunteer workers. She said about 375 people were waiting in line when the sale started.

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Tables laden with cleverly placed books filled two large rooms at the center - a book called "Eloquence in Public Speaking" divided the "foreign language" and "speech and writing" categories on one table. "Return to Mars" straddled "science fiction" and "travel." Bookworms swarmed to the history book table on opening day; few ventured over to "diet and nutrition."

And the sale isn't limited to books; there are videotapes, CDs, software and record albums - including a Spanish version of music by the 70s pop band ABBA.

Emma Plummer of Hagerstown said she was looking for "just any old thing. I never miss a book sale." She's been coming to the sale for "at least 20" years, she said, clutching a novel. "Since I retired, I read novels like this and listen to country music. Loud country music," she said.

Lugging a box full of mystery novels, Gerri Hammond, also of Hagerstown, said she was going to load that box into her car and start on a second. "I come every year," she said, "but this is the first time I've gotten here on the first day."

Retired English teacher Dale Hicks of Martinsburg, W.Va., was in literary heaven. "I've been looking forward to this for about a month," he said. He said he had a list of books he was looking for to replace copies he'd loaned out over the years that didn't make it back to his private library. He also had a list of favorite authors whose works he was keeping an eye out for.

Michael Diavolikis of Hagerstown was interested in "a wide range of genres," he said, and he had a bag full of everything from children's books to pop culture digests to prove it.

Last year, the AAUW raised more than $31,000 and the organization hopes to raise even more this year, Marletta said. The group uses the money for scholarships for Washington County students and for donations to various nonprofit agencies.

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