Fans of the Old Book Sale begin lining up hours before the Houston County Friends of the Library open the doors.
Such enthusiasm is expected to help this year’s sale -- which opens at 10 a.m. Thursday -- raise about $50,000 to benefit Houston County’s three public libraries. Perhaps 3,000 may come.
“We’ve had people come from as far away as New York state and Florida. We’ve got dealers that come regularly,” said Pam Yates, vice president of the Friends. “We’re probably one of the last pure book sales in the state, because we don’t sell anything online. We don’t let anyone in early.”
Some of the Friends may arrive around 8 or 8:30 Thursday to begin handing out numbers to people already in line, so they can go and get breakfast. The doors will open at 10 a.m., first come, first served.
When those doors open, Yates said, people move quickly to certain areas, particularly art, genealogy, Civil War and collectibles.
Among the collectible books in this year’s offering: “Wreck and Sinking of the Titanic: The Ocean’s Greatest Disaster,” published in the same year the Titanic sunk. The 1912 book includes drawings made especially for that book, Yates said. Other offerings include an official pictorial history of World War I published in 1920, Winnie the Pooh books from 1935, and collections of books like the Lemony Snicket series for children.
Yates said the Old Book Sale is as big as the Friends can handle, with about 90,000 books coming out of 3,000 boxes. Proceeds have bought books and audiobooks, hired storytellers for events and bought food when librarians had training sessions.
Admission on Thursday is free to members of the Friends, and $5 to the general public. Admission on later days is free to all. Hours are Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Books are half price on Saturday.
The Old Book Sale takes place in the Georgia Grown building near the clock tower at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.