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Library Book Sales: Helping Book Lovers Discover New Gems

Updated: May 3, 2023

Crystal at Stettler Public Library
Crystal Friars of the Stettler Public Library. Photo by Stettler Local March 23, 2023 at 7:05 am

Crystal Friars understands how difficult it is for book lovers to part with treasured volumes.

But when bibliophiles are ready to let go of their books, the assistant manager of the Stettler Public Library says the perfect way to match these gems with new owners is through library book sales.

"It's a service we provide," jokes Friars.

The Spring Book Sale, held during the Stettler Trade Show and organized by the Stettler Friends of the Library Society, has been raising funds for the library for approximately 10-15 years.

The two-day event can net as much as $3,000 to $4,000, which is remarkable considering the books are sold by donation and are not individually priced. Friars says this underscores the generosity of local book buyers.

The 2023 Spring sale is April 14-15, and the library is accepting donations until April 6. A second book sale, the Spooktacular, will be held in October.

Of all the types of books donated to the library, the most popular genres are mysteries/thrillers, general fiction, and romance.

The fastest-selling genre is the Western.

"Westerns move fast because we hardly ever see them come in," says Friars. "Western readers know their authors and rarely part with their books."

The library doesn't accept encyclopedias or textbooks because they don't sell. However, the book sales always feature an impressive assortment of DVDs.

One of the first things organizers do with donations, says Friars, is determine the condition of the books. Anything with missing pages or covers is recycled because buyers want books of reasonable quality.

Organizers then separate the books into genres, and place them in pre-labelled boxes, such as Cooking, Science Fiction, History, etc., which has greatly reduced the time it takes to set up the sale. Friars says set-up used to take about five hours, but now takes about an hour and a half.

That's pretty speedy, considering the number of donations. "We can have as many as 300-500 boxes of books in a sale," she says. "One time a single household donated twenty boxes of books."

Proceeds from the book sales help fund library programming and – of course – the purchase of new books.

Stettler Local Editor


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