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Librarys annual book sale attracts a crowd
Books are stacked in alphabetical order for customers to browse. - photo by ELISE PERKINS

The Gainesville library was full of people Sunday as the Friends of the Hall County Library System’s  biggest annual book sale in years came to a close.

In past years, the book sales averaged $3,000-$4,000 and Judy Chasey, president of Friends of the HCLS, said she is sure this year will exceed that.

“It’s going to be our biggest book sale in several years.”

“The turnout was excellent, we sold a lot of books, and we appreciate the support of the community,” said Chasey, who spent the day personally thanking everyone who stopped by to pick up a book or two.

“It’s picked up as we’ve gone through the day,” she said. “We’ll get busy with the fire sale that’s from 3-4 p.m. People will get a brown paper grocery sack and fill it with as many books as they can cram in there for $5.”

The event spanned the first floor of the Gainesville branch, featuring paperback books for 50 cents and hardbacks for $1 as well as an assortment of audiotapes, CDs and various movies, for both educational and entertainment purposes.

“The money goes to the Friends of the HCLS. We provide funds for kids’ summer reading programs, we buy equipment for the library, as we can,” Chasey said. “We purchased the 3-D printer that’s at (the) Spouts Springs (branch).“

While the majority of the funds go toward library essentials such as tables, chairs and other basics that routinely need maintenance from wear and tear, the money also helps fund programs for the staff and staff enrichment.

“The only thing we can’t do is buy books. It would just not be enough money to buy the books that the library needs,” Chasey said.

Within walking distance from the Art in the Square festival that was also taking place downtown, many people took advantage of being able to wander about the local businesses.

“We went to the art show first, because we knew the fire sale was from 3-4 p.m.,” said Sherry Beauford, who was waiting for her friend to finish browsing, having already filled her bag. “I found lots of books from the authors that I like.”

“This is the first year I’ve come, I didn’t know they did this,” she said. “I am a book collector, I have lots and lots of books.”

Beauford admitted her fondness of actual books over e-readers.

“I like to put my bookmark in, I like to turn the page, I like the way books smell.”

While she doesn’t have a library yet, Beauford said the real trick is making the stacks and stacks of books she has look like they are just part of the decoration.

“I’m always in a thrift store or somewhere, I have my spots, places I know to go, and this will be one of them next year.”

“People come with lists of the books they want, I saw someone with a list that had 30 or 40 books on it by author,” said Sandra Henderson, one of the volunteers helping. “Our repeat buyers who know about the fire sale probably come the first day to get what they want, and then come back.”

Henderson mentioned the volunteers were abuzz about how well they had done Saturday, crediting the success to the hard work of the committee that put the sale together as well as the loyal patrons of the library system.

“We take donations from the public and we also get the weeded-out and discarded books from the library, but we do take donations all year from the public,” said Chasey. “And once a year we gather them all up, sort them and put them out, and make money.”