Houston Old Book Sale starts tonight

Nearly 100,000 books, many priced at less than $1, go on sale beginning tonight in Perry.

Houston County Friends of the Library will hold its sixth annual Old Book Sale to help fund the county’s libraries. The event, which runs through Saturday, will be held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter’s Georgia Building.

A preview sale will be held this evening from 4 to 8, with a $5 entry fee. The sale is open free of charge from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. On Saturday, all books are half-price.

Pam Yates, president of the organization, said she has about 3,600 boxes of books available. Last year, the sale raised more than $30,000 for the libraries. Most of the books are priced about 50 cents.

Friends of the Library sells as many books as it can during the show. Anything left over is donated to literacy groups, jails and other civic organizations. Some books are even sold online.

“We try to get every penny,” Yates said.

There are also valuable books available at bargain prices.

One book, “William Russell Smith of Alabama: His Life and Works” by Anne Easby-Smith, published by Dolphin Press in 1931, is worth $753, Yates said. She plans to sell it for $100.

Yates researches the value of books herself.

Other rare or collectible books include an edition of “The Count of Monte Cristo” from the 1880s for $46; a Rudyard Kipling set for $35; five first editions of “The Clan of the Cave Bear” for $60; a Warner Robins High School yearbook set from the 1950s for $14; and a Neel Reid architecture book for $130.

Yates and her 22 volunteers hope to make the most of this year’s sale.

“Everyone here is nutso about books,” Yates said.

To contact writer Angela Woolen, call 923-5650.