Book sale at Anniston's public library creates happy readers
by Eddie Burkhalter
Feb 02, 2014 | 2387 views |  0 comments | 82 82 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A box of books for sale Saturday attracts the attention of 9-year-old Braxton Barr of Anniston. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
A box of books for sale Saturday attracts the attention of 9-year-old Braxton Barr of Anniston. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
Mixed among the books for sale in a room tucked away on the second floor of the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County was a copy of Stephen King’s “Insomnia.”

King’s 1994 novel, about a retired-widower who can’t sleep and begins seeing things — scary things — hadn’t been checked out since Nov. 1 of the year of its printing. The books was one of thousands thousands available Saturday at the library’s quarterly book sale, organized by the board of Friends of the Public Library.

The sales not only raise money for the library, but awareness about all the various activities held there throughout the year, organizers said, from storytimes to basket-weaving classes and movie nights.

One particular book at the sale came with an inscription from the author. Inside the front cover of the book, titled “Just Beneath my Skin,” author Patricia Foster wrote “I enjoyed my time in Anniston.”

“That was a good find,” said Anniston attorney Trudy Phillips, who found the book tucked on a shelf in the non-fiction section. Phillips said she’s a regular at the sales.

For Anniston’s Veronica O’Neal, books by Alabama-born author Zora Neale Hurston have a way of keeping her glued to the pages.

Instead of Hurston, O’Neal found a hardback version of “Oxford’s Compilation of American Literature” at the sale. She studied English in college. Books have always been in her blood, O’Neal explained.

“My kids are in college now, but I used to bring them here all the time to buy books for them,” O’Neal said. “You save a lot of money.”

Marilyn Reynolds serves on the board for Friends of the Public Library. Reynolds is charged with making sure the sale goes on without a hitch, but the snowstorm last week that left roads closed and many stranded made that a bit harder this time.

Instead of having several days prior to the sale to prepare, Reynolds had just one, coming in early Friday after the roads were deemed safe so that she and other board members could get the thousands of books in order.

The sales typically brings in between $700 and $800, excluding money made from those buying memberships to the Friends of the Public Library. All money collected is used by the library, Reynolds said.

Equally important as raising money, Reynolds said the book sales are a way to encourage people to join Friends of the Public Library. The $10 membership fee gets members a 75 percent discount on book sales, and a newsletter which keeps members up to date with the library’s goings-on.

Most of the books are donated by patrons, and some are old library books that are deemed ready for sale, because either they haven’t been checked out in many years, like the Stephen King book, or a duplicate exists in the library’s collection

Lindsay Tyson came to the sale with her 10-month- old son, Timothy. Tyson’s New Year’s resolution is to read more.

“With him it’s very hard,” Tyson said, pointing to her son, happily cooing while being carried by his mother. She didn’t have a particular title in mind, but hoped to find something interesting at the sale.

Another book-lover studied one particular aisle, looking for something special, which can happen at the sales, she said.

“I come for craft stuff, a lot of religion stuff and foreign language stuff, and it’s all in one area here,” said Anniston resident Gretchen Elliott.

Elliott said she’s a happy repeat customer to the book sale, which offers something special for book-lovers.

“The sale collects stuff from a bunch of different people’s collection,” Elliott said, which means there’s no telling what you’ll find hidden on a shelf.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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