‘I keep bringing a bigger bag:’ Library used book sales more popular than ever

At Friends of Wareham Free Library second-hand book sales, the rule of thumb is “shop till you drop”, according to volunteers.

Priscilla Porter, president of the Friends of Wareham Free Library, said the sales have been very popular recently. For the past few months, she notes, a queue has formed in front of the sale half an hour before the doors open.

Many shoppers are regulars, Porter said.

“I love the sale,” said Muriel Slaney, a frequent customer of the used book sale. “I was bookless for two weeks, and I couldn’t wait for this sale. ”

Slaney was one of the first people through the doors on Thursday, July 22 at 9:30 a.m. when the sale opened. She said the sales usually have a great selection of reading material.

“I was so thrilled,” she said. “Three months ago, I guess, all these new books have come out in the last four years.”

Slaney brought a list of authors she wanted to try and said she had a strategy for shopping the sales. She starts with the most expensive “murder and mayhem” books, which are her favorites, and works her way around the sales tables to the cheapest books, she explained.

By 9:40 a.m., Slaney already had a few books in his reusable bag.

“I keep bringing a bigger bag,” she said.

Carla, a Friends volunteer who worked in the sale, said young shoppers were also enthusiastic about second-hand books.

“The kids come in and they go through all the children’s books,” she said. “They’ll sit there and watch them – it’s really cute.”

As shoppers browsed through the sale and picked out books — sometimes a few, sometimes a stack, and sometimes a large box or bag full — Porter explained that each sale features a chart that highlights one type of book. For the July 22-24 sales, the special themed table was science fiction and fantasy.

“This sale, because we have so many sci-fi books, we’re ‘buy one, get a second of equal value free,'” Porter said.

Porter said the Friends have a core of about 15 volunteers who help with activities, including used book sales.

“We could always use volunteers,” Porter said. “Assembling and dismantling is a task.”

Volunteers should set up tables in the meeting room of the main library, move all the books from the Friends shed to the back and organize them all, she said. When the sale ends, they have to put everything away.

“We encourage buy-til-you-drop,” Porter said with a laugh, looking at one shopper’s particularly large haul.

Proceeds from sales support Friends of Wareham’s Free Library. If possible, buyers are asked to bring their own bags.

The Friends July Used Book Sale will be open July 22 until 4 p.m. and July 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, the sale will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To volunteer with Friends, email friendswfl@gmail.com or dial (508) 295-2343. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/friendswfl/.