One Of The Largest Book Sales In West Texas Opens This Week
Life is starting to feel more normal in the Big Country as the usual schedule of events gets going for the summer season. The Friends of the Abilene Public Library will host its annual book sale this coming weekend. Like most other annual events organizers had to cancel last year’s book sale. It’s the largest fundraising event the group hosts each year, and 2020 would have marked the 30th sale. “It really hurt us,” said Kathy Curtis, a volunteer board member with the Friends of the Abilene Public Library. “We’ve taken off this year running," Curtis says they also raised more than $7,000 during Abilene Gives. " I was very proud of our community and how generous they were to the library because we weren’t able to hold the book sale. We tripled our donations from the previous year.”
The library receives general funding from the City of Abilene, but Curtis says the annual sale usually brings in around $50,000 dollars. Over the years the friends of the library has been able to fund a number of extra projects that weren’t in the budget, such as covering two years of the location’s rental fees, renovation costs, and furnishings at the Mockingbird branch, and funding the south branch move to the Abilene Mall. “We were able to contribute $540,000, and agreed to fundraise another for the cost of opening the facility, including furnishings, equipment, construction, and planning, all of which was at no cost to the taxpayers,” Curtis says.
The group also helped to start and fund audio and e-books on the library’s OverDrive system, and they have been able to provide mobile hot spots which families have needed even more over the past year. Looking ahead the Friends of the Library are raising money to help pay for fixtures and equipment at the proposed new library in Heritage Square.
After losing out on the income from last year’s sale, Curtis says they're excited to open the doors this week to one of the largest book sales in West Texas, with more than 30,000 books arranged by genre. “On average the books only cost from $1 to $2. Of course in the ‘antiques and unique section’ they’re priced higher because quite often we have first edition classics and more valuable items,” Curtis says. “They’re will be 80 subject sections including fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, sports, history, travel, and cooking just to name a few.” Curtis says shoppers will also find audio books, CDs, and DVDs.
The doors open to members of the Friends of the Abilene Public Library on Thursday night. Curtis says people can become members for as little as a $15 donation at the Convention Center door. The sale will open to the general public on Friday at 10 a.m. On the final day of the sale organizers will provide bags that shoppers can fill for $6.
Curtis notes that once the sale wraps up they’ll start working on next year’s event. With the warehouse full, the group has been unable to accept book donations, but will begin taking them again starting July 8th. Volunteers will accept materials at the main branch of the Abilene Public Library on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon.