Three days of browsing through thousands of books.
It’s every bookworm’s dream turned reality, and it happens every spring during the annual book sale at Boone Mall.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Watauga County Public Library, this year’s event is slated for Thursday through Saturday, May 16 to 18.
Thursday’s sale is open to Friends members only from 4 to 9 p.m.; membership into the organization can be obtained simply by paying a $5 annual fee at the door on Thursday.
The sale opens to the general public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The event will feature thousands of books — fiction, nonfiction, self-help guides, coffee-table books and cookbooks. Also available will be a large selection of DVDs, CDs, books on tape and other media.
Hardcover books will be available for $1, paperbacks for 50 cents, children’s books for 25 cents to 50 cents, and others individually priced.
On behalf of the all-volunteer nonprofit Friends organization, Claire Olander, current vice president and book sale coordinator, encourages everyone to plan to come out for the three-day sale.
“All sales will benefit the ongoing work of the Friends of the Library. It’s a great way to support the many programs offered at the Watauga County Library,” Olander said.
She referred to it as a community project that gives back to the community in more ways than one.
“We couldn’t do it without the help of Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, which supplies the trucks we need to haul 500 to 600 boxes, literally thousands of books, from storage to the mall,” she said. “We are also very fortunate to have enlisted ongoing volunteer laborers from Freedom Farms Ministry to help load and unload the books.”
Olander also expressed “a big thank you” to Boone Mall and its manager, Meredith Golden, “for allowing us to return to the mall, year after year.”
“We have a long list of ways that we use the funds from this sale — the summer reading program, author visits, guest speakers, education for the library staff and so much more,” she said. “We were also a major contributor to the radio frequency identification program, which helps protect our books.”
The Friends of the Library is an active group of local citizens that works throughout the year to help provide funding and other resources for the Watauga County Library — and to introduce new patrons to the library and all that it has to offer.
“To me, supporting the library is especially important right now because the government support either stays stagnant or is reduced,” Olander said. “The library serves everyone — children, adults and seniors. We all benefit from it.”
Friends of the Library was formed in 1974 as a way to engage the public in the use and support of the library, as well as to provide funds in those areas not otherwise sustained.
In addition to the book sale, other fundraising events sponsored by the group include the annual High Country Festival of the Book.
The 2013 main event is scheduled for June 22 at Watauga High School in Boone, with a writing workshop at the library the day prior, with noted authors and publishers.
On June 21, Biscuits, Books and Ballads, a fundraising dinner, will he held at Tweetsie Railroad with special guests, including New York Times best-selling author Sharyn McCrumb and local folk singer Mary Greene.
In November, the Friends host a Holiday Book Sale and maintain a lobby full of books that are sold throughout the year.
As of July 1,the board of directors for the Friends of the Library will be Suzanne Thompson, president; Mary Sue Morgan, vice president; Doris Isaacs, treasurer; Jack James, past president, and Pat Alexander, Maggie Christenbury and Rich Culatta as directors.
The Watauga County Library is located at 140 Queen St. in downtown Boone. For more information, call (828) 264-8784 or visit http://www.wataugacountylibrary.com.