By Ethan Woodhouse
The Watauga County Library is hoping for a turnout as massive as the collection of books they’ve assembled for this year’s Friends of the Library Booksale in the Boone Mall.
The event opens today, May 17, with the “Special Friends Preview,” which runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
To participate in the opening event, visitors are asked to donate $5 or individually or $10 per family. Donors will be given first pick of the collection as well as being signed up for the library’s tri-annual newsletter and granted early entry to the High Country Festival of the Book, which will take place August 3 and 4 at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock.
The High Country Festival of the Book will feature writer’s workshops, a Civil War symposium and over 30 authors. This is the first time the Festival and Book Sale have joined forces, but the focus currently lies with the sale.
“The library sells certain books throughout the year,” event organizer Suzanna Thompson said.”But this is by far the largest fundraiser for us.”
The sale, located in the center of the mall, will feature over 10,000 books from various donors divided up by genre. Hard covers are $1, soft covers are 50 cents and children’s books are either 50 or 25 cents. In an age when prices for all goods seem to be on the rise, Friends of the Library President Claire Olander says it’s refreshing that prices have stayed the same throughout the event’s history.
“We’ve been holding the event for about 15 years now,” Olander said. “It would be great to raise over $10,000. That’s the most I can ever remember us raising.”
Freedom Farms Ministry and Project Challenge have donated time and effort in the transportation and shelving of books for this year’s event, a service Olander says has been crucial.
“Members of Friends of the Library and the public are very enthusiastic about this event,” Olander said. “You should see the lines when the sale begins at 4 p.m., they stretch all over the mall.”
After the Special Friends Preview on Thursday, the book sale will be open to the public Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.