Early birds line up at AAUW book sale's new location on Florida Ave.

Event continues Friday and Saturday

April 14, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS |
  • Kasey Kline, 4, enjoys a book at the annual AAUW Book Sale Thursday at the Arc building in Hagerstown.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

By the time the door was about to open Thursday morning for the annual American Association of University Women book sale, hundreds of eager book buyers had lined up outside, many toting stacks of plastic bins, reusable shopping bags or rolling empty carts.

Finally, the door opened and the crowd fell silent as AAUW member Lu Marletta welcomed the early-bird buyers.

"Enjoy, take your time, browse, and buy lots of books," she said as the line began filing in.

"We don't want any left," book sale co-Chairwoman Jeanne Stoner said.

It was a tall order considering that the three-day used book sale at 1000 Florida Ave. in northwest Hagerstown, which continues today and Saturday, includes an estimated 25,000 donated and discarded library titles.

Many are priced at $1.

"Some people call it the biggest book-recycling effort in the community," Latimer said.

Money raised at the sale is used primarily to fund scholarships, she said.

"We also give some money to the library and to other nonprofits, but most of our money is given to local girls and women to go to college," she said.

In recent years, the sale had been held at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center near Sharpsburg, but organizers moved it this year to the Florida Avenue space, which they are leasing from the ARC of Washington County.

The AAUW traditionally sorted and priced books for the sale at the downtown library, but due to a renovation project there, they leased the ARC space and decided to hold the sale there to avoid having to move the books, Stoner said.

"I think with the price of gas, I think it would have hurt us" to hold the sale at the ag center, she said.

AAUW member Lu Marletta said she counted 235 people entering the sale when the doors opened at 10 a.m.

"In the past, when we were at the ag center, I could often count 400 at 10 o'clock," Marletta said. "But we are very excited that this many people found us and have come."

Among those who lined up for an early start was Ron Willochell, owner of M-Tech Books in Greensburg, Pa.

"This is where we get most of our inventory, is at a lot of the sales in the five-state area," said Willochell, who planned to focus on science and religion books at the AAUW sale.

Others in the line were individuals seeking books for themselves or their families.

"I'm getting a puppy, so I'm looking for a puppy book," said Kathy McKay, of Waynesboro, Pa.

Wade Burkholder of Greencastle, Pa., said he was most interested in biographies and autobiographies.

Attending the sale for the first time, Chris Hester of Hagerstown said he didn't have anything in particular in mind when he went in.

"I just thought I'd walk through and see if anything caught my eye," he said.

Among his selections were a book of Rembrandt etchings and a book of Currier and Ives prints.

Laurie Ruck of Hagerstown said she went to the sale to find children's books, but also spotted an Edgar Allan Poe anthology.

"I liked his stuff in high school, so I was lucky to find that," she said.

The sale hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Books will be half-price on Saturday, Stoner said.

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