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Annual AAUW book sale attracts hundreds

April 21, 2010|By ERIN JULIUS
  • A sea of books and hundreds of people crowd a building at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center Wednesday morning for the opening day of the annual AAUW Used Book Sale.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer,

WASHINGTON COUNTY --Mary Rubin estimates she owns more than 6,000 books.

On Wednesday, she went to the 43rd annual used book sale held by the American Association of University Women, an event she attends every year.

She gathered hundreds of books within the opening minutes of the sale, and her mother, Kay Rubin, had another cartful of books.

Carrie Carbaugh of Greencastle, Pa., arrived at 9:45 a.m., and already more than 400 people were standing in line, she said.

Carbaugh, who has attended the sale every year for more than a decade, said she likes the cheap prices and variety.

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Most of the paperback books cost 50 cents or $1. Hardback books usually cost $2.

Virginia Stayman, co-chair of the sale, said about 50,000 books were available this year.

She expects several thousand people through the doors of the sale, which runs through Sunday at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center off Sharpsburg Pike.

The AAUW's mission is threefold, Stayman said.

By holding the book sale, the organization helps recycle books, which have been donated.

The sale also provides people a resource for inexpensive books.

"People cannot find books for that price anywhere else," she said.

Finally, the money the AAUW raises through the sale funds scholarships for Washington County high school students, Stayman said.

The AAUW takes donations, and stores and sorts its books throughout the year at Washington County Free Library in downtown Hagerstown. Because of planned renovations at the library, the AAUW has no place for storage in coming years, Stayman said.

Judy Hebb of Hagerstown and her brother-in-law, Bill Turner, shopped for books Wednesday morning.

Turner pushed a blue cart that the pair filled with books.

She reads about five books a week, she said, so she stocks up at the annual sale.

After she reads them, Turner usually donates the books to the hospital or gives them to friends, she said.

Niki Goll lives in New Jersey, but is visiting family in West Virginia. Her husband, Robert Goll, found the AAUW book sale.

Goll held her son, Owyn, who played with a mirror-covered book his older brother found for him.

Her son, Elijah, is homeschooled, and the sale was a good resource for finding him material, Goll said.

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