Find the joy of used book sales at the Second Saturday Bookshop 

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 5, 2020

By Laurie Lyda

Rowan Public Library

Are you a fan of used book sales? Of searching through boxes of potential reading treasures, looking for your own prize title? Do you mark Rowan Public Library’s sale dates on your calendar months in advance?  

I’ve always loved library book sales. Growing up, I was a regular at my hometown public library’s annual sales. I would save my allowance for weeks ahead of the sale, plan to get up early (no easy feat for a night owl who also couldn’t yet drive and had to get a ride), and spend hours digging through the books set out for sale.

When my hometown book sale moved outdoors, I distinctly remember lining up around its perimeter, so early that the dew was still heavy and the air was crisp. We anxiously waited until starting time and the dropping of the rope boundaries – and then the frenzy began. 

Everyone there was on a treasure hunt, sifting through box after box, looking for their next favorite book. Nearly every time, I would walk away with at least 20 books to add to my collection, and I always found titles for my family members too. It was a wonderfully fun experience. 

More than 20 years later, I still love a good book sale, though now I have to try to adult and weigh my desire to collect books against the difficulty of moving with a number of boxes that is way into the double digits. It’s a struggle.   

Among the many things I love at Rowan Public Library are the Friends of Rowan Public Library book sales. In addition to the annual fall book sales held in RPL Headquarters’ Stanback Auditorium, each RPL branch always hosts a selection of used books and DVDs for sale. There are always treasures waiting to be found in these sales. 

And now, the treasure hunting offered by the Friends of RPL is going to a whole new level: The Second Saturday Bookshop will open on Saturday, March 14, in the West End Plaza, near Bath and Body Works. West End Plaza is at 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. W. in Salisbury, the former Salisbury Mall. 

Its days of operation are in the name – every second Saturday of the month, the Second Saturday Bookshop will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will sell used books, DVDs and vinyl, in addition to literary-themed gift baskets, and Friends of RPL canvas tote bags. Cash, charge and checks accepted. 

Except for specialty items, paperbacks and DVDs are priced at $1 each and hardbacks at $3 each. The tote bags currently in stock are $10, and the literary-themed gift baskets vary in price, according to size and contents. 

Unlike the traditional-style used book sale, which is typically a free-for-all that takes sifting through box after box to find new-to-you treasures, the Second Saturday Bookshop’s mother lode of items will be organized by category (romance, mystery, cookbooks, biography). 

Like the Friends of RPL in-branch sales, the inventory of the Second Saturday Bookshop will come from donations. Volunteers and staff have been working to process already-donated items and transport the prepared boxes to the new site in preparation for the March 14 opening.

For someone like me, who’s collected so very many books over the years and is now trying to pare down my collection, the option of donating unwanted books and DVDs to the Friends of RPL is a balm: my already-read items will add joy to another person’s to-be-read pile. 

For others interested in donating their used books, DVDs or audiobooks on CD, these items can be taken to your nearest RPL branch. Outdated encyclopedias or other reference materials, VHS tapes, and cassette tapes are not accepted.  

Proceeds from the Friends of RPL fundraisers, like the in-branch sales and annual book sales, support many programs that RPL provides, including a free concert series, Summer Reading programs for all ages, and the annual Stories by the Millstream Storytelling Festival for all Rowan County second-graders. RPL memberships also support these initiatives, as will all proceeds from the Second Saturday Bookshop

Whether you’re looking for a good book or just want to make a difference in your community, stop by the Second Saturday Bookshop and support the Friends of RPL and Rowan Public Library. Mark your calendars for these Saturdays in 2020: March 14, April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, Aug. 8, Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12. To learn more, visit

Scavenger Hunt: Dr. Seuss, through March 31, Headquarters, South. Can you find these Dr. Seuss characters hidden throughout the children’s room? Complete the challenge and get a prize! For more information, call 704-216-8234 (HQ) or 704-216-7728 (South).

Scavenger Hunt: Out & About Hunt: East, through March 31. Get to know our community better! This hunt will take you to local businesses and landmarks around Rockwell. Capture a picture at each location to be entered into a raffle contest for a literary-themed prize. Call 704-216-7842 for more information.

Dr. Seuss Day: All programs 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, East; March 10, South. The best way to enjoy a birthday is with a party. Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s day with the library and participate in Seuss-themed stories, crafts and light refreshments. For more information, call your nearest branch.

Crafty Kids: Headquarters, March 11, 6 p.m. Children ages 12 and under may explore their crafty side using a variety of materials and techniques to create art; in the Children’s Room. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more information, contact Aida at 704-216-8234.

Sensory Storytime: March 13, 10:30 a.m., headquarters. Attendees will experience storytime through tactile stimulation as they touch, see, smell and hear different interactive elements. This 30-minute storytime involves books, songs and movement and is designed for those with autism and/or sensory challenges. All ages and those of all abilities are welcome. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For questions or to make accessibility arrangements, call 704-216-8234.

STEAM into Adventure: Happy Pi Day, South, March 14, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Learn what the number Pi is and make related crafts. This STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) program is geared for ages 6 to 11. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more details, call 704-216-7729.

Escape Room: Find the Treasure, March 10, 4-5 p.m., headquarters; March 12, 4-5 p.m., East. Solve puzzles and clues to escape before smugglers steal the leprechaun gold you’ve found. Designed for teens in sixth-12th grade. Questions? Call 704-216-8229.

Exploration with Aida: Flower pressed bookmarks, headquarters, March 7, 11 a.m. Create your own bookmark and decorate it with pressed flowers. Ages 10 and under; Children’s Room. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more information, contact Aida at 704-216-8234.

Wednesday Writers Club: East March 11, 6 p.m. Join the East Branch for a time of solo writing, group sharing and peer-to-peer reviews. Encouragement, coffee and snacks will be provided. This program is designed for adults 18 and up. Call 704-216-7840 for more information.

Job Readiness on the Go: Headquarters, today, 2-4 p.m., and 2-4 p.m. March 12 at East. A Career Connections Specialist from Goodwill will be on site to help with successfully completing employment applications online and on paper, creating a resume, learning interviewing skills, and completing assessments to help select a career based on your personality and skills. Call 704-216-8259 for more information.

Displays: Headquarters, Log cabins by North Hills Christian School; East, original art presented by James Rhea; South, Star (Wars) Party display presented by Rowan Public Library.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.