Bookworms buy bargains

April 22, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

WASHINGTON COUNTY - As her stroller filled up with books, 3-year-old Zera Haurin sat quietly under a folding table paging through a colorful Winnie the Pooh book.

Her mother, Eileen Haurin of Hagerstown, found a number of treasures for the family Wednesday on the opening day of the American Association of University Women's annual Used Book Sale.

Among them was the complete works of poet Lord Byron.

"I enjoy this book sale because there's such a selection," Haurin said.

AAUW volunteers lugged out more than 50,000 paperbacks and hardbacks for its 51st annual sale at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, said volunteer Lu Marletta.


Through Sunday, the organization expects to sell nearly all of the books, most at bargain prices.

Any leftovers, except for rare finds, will be donated to area nursing homes, day-care centers and jails, she said.

Last year the association raised $40,000 for its scholarship program.

On Wednesday, 352 people were waiting in line when the doors opened at 10 a.m., she said.

At noon, hundreds of readers were still browsing through the rows and rows of tables spilling over with books.

As fast as the books disappeared, they were replaced by new stores sitting in cardboard boxes under the folding tables.

Veterans to the sale brought their own carry-alls.

Dot Appleman, 67, of Laurel, Md., put her finds in a plastic milk crate on wheels complete with a folding handle. When asked where she got such a handy item, she answered the now-defunct Ames store.

Appleman said she uses the sale to try out new authors.

It's also a social outing for her and her three sisters, who meet her there from Frostburg, Md.

Sister Dodie Coburn, 56, works in the Frostburg State University library.

"All the books that come through I don't have time to read I know to look for here," she said.

Buddy and Kim Keller of Westminster, Md., said they came to the book sale to look for good children's books. They homeschool their two sons, Pete, 10, and Garrett, 13.

Catherine Hull of Martinsburg, W.Va., came with no pre-conceived notions of what she wanted to put in the little red wagon she brought to carry her purchases.

"A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Just whatever catches my eye," she said.

Volunteers spend all year sorting the books into categories such as mystery, biography, fiction and travel, Marletta said. They work from a room at the Washington County Free Library.

All the books are stored at the library and in two large truck trailers donated by D.M. Bowman Inc. of Williamsport, she said.

About a week before the sale, volunteers start unloading the boxes at the ag center.

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