Collectibles up for grabs at Houston County’s Old Book Sale

bpurser@macon.comMay 2, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- What do a 1911 Uncle Remus book, vintage sheet music and a book about “Gone with the Wind” signed by supporting actress Butterfly McQueen have in common?

All are collectibles up for grabs at this year’s Old Book Sale sponsored by Houston County Friends of the Library, organizers say. The three-day event is Thursday through Saturday at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter.

“People are so excited,” said Pam Yates, co-captain of the book sale that is expected to attract more than 1,800 people, including out-of-state collectors. Some visitors to the book sale have come from Miami, South Carolina and New York, she said.

“Everybody finds something,” Yates said.

Other notable items at the eighth annual sale include Dick and Jane readers, an Elvis collection, an Elizabeth Taylor section, books on genealogy and children’s books including Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Yates said.

More than 90,000 books are available for purchase with most at a “bargain price” of 50 cents to $2, Yates said. However, special book sets can range from 50 cents up to $100 each, she said.

For example, some of the genealogy books are priced at $30, she said.

Volunteers set up in one day the makeshift library for the book sale inside the air-conditioned Georgia Building near the clock tower, Yates said. More than 3,000 books were carried to the site by volunteers. Book are categorized, with maps available at the entrance.

Most of the books are donated, while others are retired from the public libraries, Yates said.

After expenses, funds raised from the sale go right back to the libraries, primarily for the purchase of new books, Yates said. Some of the funds help support children’s programs at the libraries, she said.

About $187,338 has been donated to the libraries since the founding of the Houston County Friends of Library in 2005, she said.

The sale opens at 10 a.m. Thursday for a $5 admission. Expect lines at the opening, with folks wanting a first look at what’s available, Yates said. Doors close at 8 p.m.

Friday and Saturday offer free admission starting at 9 a.m. Friday is generally the most relaxed shopping day with doors open until 8 p.m., Yates said. Saturday, everything is half-priced, so it’s a “madhouse,” Yates joked.

The event ends Saturday at 3 p.m. Volunteers take the summer months off, and then it’s time to start cataloging and pricing books for next year’s sale, Yates said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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