Good Reading: Friends of Brown Library Book Sale returns

Published 4:27 pm Thursday, January 4, 2024

As if your To Be Read list isn’t long enough already, the Friends of Brown Library is hosting their annual Book Sale from Thursday, Jan. 18 to Sunday, Jan 21 at the Washington Civic Center. 

At the sale, bibliophiles can choose from tens of thousands of discounted books at their fingertips. Children’s books are discounted to 25 cents per book. 

The book sale is a fundraiser for the George H. and Laura E. Brown Library in Washington. Money collected from the sale goes toward the purchase of materials not covered in the library’s budget from the City of Washington. These materials are used to provide programs planned for children and the general public in addition to promoting the local library system. The book sale averages $18,000 in profits each year, but it has collected as much as $20,000 in the past. 

Because of last year’s Book Sale, Friends of Brown Library was able to fund summer reading programs for all ages, Harry Potter Halloween, new e-books and other materials, licenses to use programs including Ancestry.com and African-American Heritage sites, new portable tables and chairs for Brown Library’s meeting room, electronic Launchpads and Wonderbooks and other items, according to the organization. 

Given the vast expanse of the book sale, first-time patrons should be prepared. Katie Lake, president of Friends of Brown Library, shared her best tips for shopping the sale. Her first tip is to make sure to bring a canvas or tote bag. There will be plastic bags for shoppers, but they can easily rip under the weight of many books. Her second tip is to pick up a map of the sale. Genres are divided into sections and color-coded so knowing where each genre is will help shoppers find their next favorite read. 

Lake, who has volunteered with Friends of Brown Library for more than 20 years, says one thing she looks forward to every year with the book sale is seeing kids plop down and read one of the books they’ve picked out.  

“What I like to see are the little kids with the books they’ve picked out,” Lake said, “there were times when mom would still be shopping, and the kids would each have their book and go somewhere and start reading it.” 

She also enjoys the opportunity to meet and speak with new people. “I like meeting people so to me it’s a social event as well as a sale.” 

The Book Sale begins on Thursday, Jan. 18 at noon for members only until 6 p.m. Patrons can join at the door for $15. The sale will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bag Day is on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. On Sunday, Patrons can purchase bags of books for $5 a bag. Cash and card is accepted. The Washington Civic Center is located at 110 Gladden Street in downtown.