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Shoppers line up for library book sale

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — The large shopping bag at Sarah Hodges’ feet continued to get heavier as she filled it up with books this morning.
Is this the norm, when she comes to the Rowan Public Library Book Sale?
“Oh, yeah,” she said. “I can’t carry it. I’m usually dragging them out.”
Voracious readers, collectors, book dealers, home-schoolers and bargain hunters filled the Stanback and Hurley rooms of the library today for hardback and paperback books, audiotapes and VHS tapes priced from 50 cents to $2.
“I come here every time the books are on sale,” said Hodges, a China Grove resident.
Hodges was looking paticularly for cookbooks and non-fiction works in general. Her own home is filled to the brim with books — old friends, she acknowledges, that she just can’t part with.
“I’ve willed them to my grandchildren,” she said. “In our family, books are important.”
Rowan Public Library’s sale features books and other media that have been taken out of county circulation in favor of new stuff.
Materials not sold are later donated to various agencies, such as the Salvation Army. (Friends of the Library has its annual sale in the fall.)
Lynn Denison and Bev Gaston coordinate things for Rowan Public Library. Movers are called in to tote down the scores of boxes of books stored in a second-floor attic (the old History Room).
“That really saves our backs,” Denison said of the help.
The sale continues until 4 p.m. today, then resumes from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, when patrons can fill a plastic shopping bag for only $2.
“There are really some great deals,” Denison said.
Gaston added, “A good book is hard to find anywhere else at this price.”
The Rev. Joseph LaFrage and his son, David, hit the mother lode this morning when they found bound sets of “National Geographic,” starting in 1909. Joseph LaFrage, a collector of sorts, decided they should probably buy as many of the bound sets as they could find, up to World War II.
“I love books,” LaFrage said. “I treat them like they’re best friends.”
As she went through the paperback fiction section, Beverly Starnes of China Grove said she was looking for “just anything,” though she acknowledged a leaning toward author Nora Roberts.
“I’m looking for what would be interesting for me and my mother,” she added.
Lesley Pullium will be working this evening during the downtown’s “Night Out,” so it gave her a chance, she said, to take the morning off, attend the book sale and have Fibrant installed at her home.
Pullium was among several people waiting in line before the doors opened this morning.
“I love this book sale,” she said.
Jan Bowen of Rockwell enjoys fiction, and the last book sale at the library allowed her to stock up on reading material for a three-month stay in Florida. “I figured it would be less crowded (today) than tomorrow,” Bowen said.
The children’s books are always a big draw.
“He’s looking for Batman,” Christy Patterson of Gold Hill said, referring to her 5-year-old son, Joshua, who was picking through the boxes with her.
Patterson home-schools her son and finds a lot of reading material for them at the book sale.
“We always try to come the first day because that’s the best selection,” she said.
Amanda Eller had her arms full of books she was buying for her nieces, who are 10 and 7.
Her criteria for the books she chose?
“Anything that looks like I would have liked it when I was their age,” Eller said.
The girls live in Broadway, so Eller planned to send the books to them as a “summer care package.”
Summer’s looking up, thanks to the library.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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