Whether you are an avid collector or an occasional reader, repeatedly the words "I Love My Books" was heard at the recent Westport library annual July Book Sale. Thousands came to shop with perfect cool summer breezes off the river into five tents and the special inside McManus Room offering over 60 categories of books and audio visual. Many might own an e-reader, but books were still the choice of the day setting a record first day. Bargain shopping continued over the next three days, even during the stormy Monday, grossing another record sale year.

In its 20th year this sale has become widely anticipated drawing people from all over New England. Six-hundred people were waiting in line for opening day Saturday, July 21. When asked where did they hear about our sale, many referred to local and Greater New York papers, radio and TV, Internet book sale listings and a reputation spread among book dealers and rare book collectors. Of course excitement was additionally generated by the WestportLibrary.org web site which continuously updated the special offerings for the sale, i.e., the Andy Warhol signed book. The daily book donations we receive from our community are what has made this sale considered one of the three best in Connecticut. And then there are some patrons who just love spending the weekend in Westport coinciding with the Downtown merchants Association art show. We and the public are most grateful for all the press prior to the sale.

Many many thanks to the 300 volunteers and wonderful nine men from the Gillespie Shelter who spent five days setting up 350 tables and 80,000 books in 90-plus degree weather. In the spring, we contact many of our local groups hoping they can spend time individually or as a group during the 10 day set up/sale days. Kudos to Westport Weston Y's Men, Westport Sunrise Rotary, Service League of Boys, National Charity League, Staples football team, college and high school students, women, men, and children. A special thanks to the following merchants, town departments, and library staff who provide us with all the detailed supplies needed -- truck, tents, paper bags, milk crates, snow fencing, permits, security, and weather alerts: Cheryl Scott Daniels ERA Select Homes; Stew Leonard's; Trader Joe's; Whole Foods; Kowalsky Brothers Inc; The Mathias Family; The Jacoby Family; Westport Parks and Recreation Department, Police and Fire departments. The collaboration is so appreciated.

Most importantly, our final recognition goes to the team of 41 volunteers who work year round to sort, price and box all the wonderful donations we receive. It is their diligence, dedication and, yes, love of books, too, that make all our three sales (December, March and July) so special for you. Better yet, if you don't wish to wait for a sale, be sure to check out the daily sales shelves near circulation at the Westport Public Library.

To all shoppers, thank you for your attendance!

Mimi Greenlee

Suzy Hooper

Dick Lowenstein

Friends Book Sale Committee