Book sale brings hundreds to Rowan County library
By Hugh Fisher
SALISBURY — For book lovers, Christmas shopping started Saturday.
Long before “Black Friday,” they were lined up outside the Rowan Public Library’s main branch downtown for the opening of the annual book sale.
Some of them asked Patricia B. Beck, who helps run the sale, to open the doors early because of the cold.
The lines form, Beck said, because the sale is one of the best chances to find books on any subject, and very inexpensively to boot.
The sale continues from 1 to 4 p.m. today, with all books at half-price.
And Monday, the remaining books will be sold off by the bag — $2 for a plastic bag, $4 for a paper bag.
The crowds stayed heavy throughout the day Saturday, and Beck said she expected that to be the case today.
“And we usually have to run ’em out (at the end of the day) on Monday,” Beck said.
The books are almost all donated by local residents, with a few that were withdrawn from the Rowan Public Library shelves.
Beck said the library itself holds a separate book sale in the spring with more of those discards.
The people in attendance at the book sale include many families with kids, she said.
“You have mothers who come in with grown daughters. We have friends who come together,” Beck said.
And some come to shop for their friends, such as Julie Gainer of Salisbury.
She and son Josh bought a big bag of books, including some thrillers: Alfred Hitchcock, Dean Koontz and others.
“I’ve been coming to this for about three or four years,” Gainer said.
“It’s a great way to support the Friends of the Library.”
And, Josh said, “It’s a good way to get books you’re not sure you want to read.”
“That’s true. You can try them out, try a new author,” Julie said.
Fran Burding, a retired library associate who has also worked as a children’s storyteller, said she’s seen lots of the young people, now grown-ups with kids themselves, with whom she’d worked years ago.
“They come with their children to get children’s books,” Burding said. “The young people just love it.”
Across the room, Lynn and Tyler Frick of Salisbury helped their twin daughters, 7-year-olds Emily and Ellison, hold the treasures they’d found.
Among them were a book about puppies, some storybooks and a Guinness World Records book.
Lynn said the sale was a great chance to find bargains.
Another room of specially-priced items includes VHS tapes and movies and music on disc, as well as hardbound books on history, cookbooks and many other topics.
Beck said that while technology might be changing the way that some people read, she and Burding agreed that it would be years before books disappear completely in favor of electronics.
“It’s awful hard to curl up with an iPad or a Kindle,” Beck said.