Westport Library’s big book sale draws big crowds
With more than 80,000 items on offer, it would have taken a lot more than Saturday morning’s showers to dampen the enthusiasm of the book-loving crowd that descended on the Westport Library for the opening of its four-day summer book sale
The library’s 23rd “Gigantic Summer Book Sale and Auction” — continuing through Tuesday — featured a diverse range of books among the tens of thousands available, as well as records, CDs and DVDs.
“I found some chapter books that I really like,” said Alexis Kelly, 8, of Weston, who was among readers of all ages scouring the inventory under on Jesup Green, as well as in the library itself. “It’s a pretty good sale,” she said. “I like that all the books are in different categories and it’s sorted out pretty well.”
Shoppers were full of praise for the sale organizers and legions of volunteers who helped make it happen, starting with the set-up work earlier this week.
“It started off small,” remembered Dick Lowenstein, who has helped organize the sale for 19 years. “As more donations came in, we realized we were getting better and better books.”
Some specialty items are on the auction block, including an antique Colton’s General Atlas and a vintage Mickey Mouse book.
“We’ve been coming here for years,” said Sue Green of Norwalk. “We love it.”
There is a minor downside to all the literary temptation, however, she pointed out. “You know what the problem is here, there are too many books to buy, you don’t have any room on your bookshelves,” she said. “So we end up donating them back.”
Despite heavy rain in the morning, turnout was substantial from the start.
“In spite of the rain, we had just as many people waiting in the morning,” said organizer Suzy Hooper, who also coordinates the volunteers. “Everybody just put up their umbrellas.”
“This is the first time in 17 years that I think it’s raised on the first day,” she said.
“This is awesome,” said Ken DeBono of Schenectady, N.Y., who came for the first time with his wife searching for books about the Revolutionary War. He wasn’t disappointed. “We didn’t expect it to be quite this large,” he said.
“This is great,” said Ed Tom of Westport. “We come here every year and it’s a great opportunity to buy books for the baby.”
“I like it,” said Jen Fisher, a book dealer who travels all the way from Brooklyn, N.Y., to check out the selection each year. “I always have a good time here. It’s always fun.”
“It’s really nice,” said Kristen Viscardi of Norwalk. “There’s a lot of good books.”
The sale continues Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Items will be half-price Monday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. is the giveaway day, although the library will accept donations that day.