Die-hard book sale fans expected at AAUW sale

April 20, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

A knee operation and a newborn baby.

There's not much that keeps a book lover from a book, especially for die-hard fans of the spring used book sale of the Washington County chapter of the American Association of University Women.

"I missed it last year. I had a knee operated on. A good reason to miss," said Emma Plummer, 82, of Hagerstown. She's only missed the spring sale once or twice in the last 25 years, and often attended the fall sale, as well.

Plummer said she will be there this Wednesday morning, the first day of the 41st AAUW spring sale, a five-day bargain sale at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center south of Hagerstown.


More than 40,000 books, CDs, DVDs and audio tapes will be for sale. Some old, rare and collectible books also will be sold, some of which will be sold through silent bids.

Christa Long, 36, of Martinsburg, W.Va., said her parents took her to the book sale when she was younger and it was held at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds. She's been going to the sale at the Ag Center for the past five years, except for last year. She was home with her newborn, who was just a few weeks old.

Long said she's going to try to go this year and take her three children.

"I like having my kids involved in books and reading. It's a good place to get books at a reasonable price and hard-to-find books," Long said. She's looking for books she read as a child, such as biographies aimed at young readers.

Proceeds from the book sale go to local scholarships, educational programs at Washington County Free Library, AAUW state fellowships that provide money to adults to pursue advanced degrees and possibly another community organization to be determined, coordinator Jeanne Stoner said. The Hagerstown branch of the AAUW has donated $1 million to scholarships, the library, AAUW fellowship program and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts during the past 45 years.

The book sale has been a source for hard-to-find or out-of-print books for local book lovers.

"I feel like I really got the prize when I find the books that I've looked for all those years," said Dale Hicks, 68, of Martinsburg, W.Va.

One of those was "The Last Convertible," a 1978 book Hicks read when he was younger and found at the AAUW sale a few years ago. He found several copies of the Anton Myrer book and bought them all, giving copies to friends. He also found the sequel, "A Green Desire."

"I was really elated over that," said Hicks, a retired schoolteacher.

When Connie Thayer's granddaughter visited her from California two years ago, the two of them spent about three hours at the book sale, said Thayer, 82, of Hagerstown.

"I know she had at least a dozen vegetarian cookbooks," Thayer said.

Thayer said she usually fills a couple cardboard boxes with books, including mysteries, biographies and historical novels.

Sissy Jolliffe, 54, of Hagerstown, has been going to the book sale for seven years and plans to make it to this year's sale. She said she doesn't rush through. First she browses, then she starts looking more studiously.

"Sometimes I've been there three days in a row," Jolliffe said. She usually buys a bagful, empties the bag into the car and takes the bag back into the sale for more books.

"In a week I read three to five books, depending on the size and type," Jolliffe said. When she's done with books she gives them to other people to read and would like to give them back to the book sale organizers to resell.

Plummer buys a lot of books from the AAUW sale.

"I'm a widow, so I have all the time in the world to read. I barely watch TV," Plummer said. "My kids, you know they're going to have a problem unloading (the books) when I'm gone. My friend said, 'Don't worry about it. They'll send a truck.'"

If you go ...

WHAT: American Association of University Women's Used Book Sale

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, through Friday, April 25; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 26; and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27.

WHERE: Multipurpose Building, Washington County Agricultural Education Center, 7313 Sharpsburg Pike

COST: Free admission. Saturday is half-price day for books. Sunday is bag day; fill any bag with books for $5 or buy five bags of books for $20.

MORE: Proceeds go to local scholarships, educational programs at Washington County Free Library and AAUW state fellowships.

CONTACT: Jeanne Stoner with the Hagerstown branch of the AAUW at 301-733-2007.

Also this weekend ...

WHAT: Friends of the Shepherdstown Library Book Sale

WHEN: An early-bird wine and cheese reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 25, will open the sale. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 27.

WHERE: Shepherdstown Men's Club, corner of German and King Streets, Shepherdstown, W.Va.

COST: Friday night reception costs $10. Admission is free on Saturday and Sunday.

MORE: Benefits Shepherdstown Library. For more information, call 304-876-2783.

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