Friends of the Brown Library hosts annual book sale

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, January 19, 2023

The Friends of the George H. and Laura E. Brown Library book sale is a reader’s paradise, because they can comb through more than 25,000 of mostly donated books which have been divided by genre. The annual sale takes place at the Washington Civic Center where bookworms of all ages, shapes and sizes are greeted first by the earthy aroma of worn pages. 

Beginning more than 20 years ago, the annual sale draws in hundreds of people each year (with the exception of 2021 and 2022 when it was canceled because of concerns related to the COVID pandemic.)

Friends of the Brown Library Tim Staiger says what he enjoys most about the book sale is the “camaraderie” between board members, volunteers and customers. Staiger’s best piece of advice is to look at the map showing the layout of the sale so readers know where their favorite genres are located. 

On his list to purchase at the sale are books about science and sports. 

Graham Young had a stack of seven books he carried around the sale – finding literature his step-daughter wanted him to purchase. For his personal collection, he hoped to find science-fiction novels. This was Young’s second time attending the book sale. He said the sale was just as large this year as it was four years ago when he attended the first time. 

Ervin and Bertie Manning were looking for two books for their granddaughters who are at college. They hoped to find “Emma” by Jane Austen and “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. 

“I look forward to this sale every year,” Ervin said, “and I’m always early.” 

Ervin said he has been to a book sale in Greenville, but prefers this one in Washington. The Mannings have attended the Friends of the Brown Library book sale for at least 10 years. 

According to a letter written by Katie Lake, president of the Friends of the Brown Library board of directors, memberships within the last year were able to help; fund children, teen and adult summer reading programs and Harry Potter Day as well as purchase new e-books, CDs and other materials. They were able to secure licenses to use special computer programs, like Ancestry.com, African American Heritage and films. Materials for the preservation of items in the history room were also purchased. 

The book sale began on Thursday (Jan. 19) with exclusive time for members from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The sale opens to the public on Friday (Jan. 20) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., continues to Saturday (Jan. 21) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday (Jan. 22) from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Most paperback books cost between 50 cents and one dollar, but hardcovers are two dollars. There is a section of older books that are individually priced. On Sunday, books will cost five dollars per bag. Credit cards are accepted.