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Just Can't Say No To a Used Book

The Clayton Community Library hosted it's bi-annual used book sale last weekend.

For pseudo-bibliophiles like me, having a state of the art, well-stocked library is something to be grateful for.

Living in Clayton has many rewards. Not the least of which is its library, supported by the Clayton Community Library Foundation (CCLF,) an all-volunteer organization. 

The CCLF holds the Clayton Used Book Sale twice a year. The October sale took place this past weekend.

Claytoninas donate books to the CCLF throughout the year. The CCLF then sells the books at this event. Money raised from the sales goes back to the Clayton Community Library.

“We raise between eight to nine thousand dollars per event and the money goes back to the Clayton Community Library to purchase supplies,” said CCLF co-founder Jeanne Boyd.

Thousands of books are sold during the three-day event, many for as little as 50 cents a piece.

The library building is owned by the City of Clayton and staffed with County employees. The CCLF fills an all-important void in keeping the library vital with supplies, books, and other materials.

In addition to the money raised by the Used Book Sale events, the CCFL raises and donates a total of 35 to 40 thousand dollars a year through other fund raising efforts that includes, the used book sale events, individual donations, a summer book sale and a Bank of America program that recognizes volunteers, according to Boyd.

When I dropped in this past Sunday afternoon, it was difficult to keep my focus on reporting the event. My eyes were naturally drawn to the thousands of books meticulously sorted by volunteers.

“It takes 50 people working over a period of one week to sort all the books,” said Boyd.

I have many books on my Amazon wish list and many more stacked up in my den/library, lined up, waiting to be read. So, it was natural for me to look for my next reading adventure.

Partial to fiction, I love stories of heroes and heroines in settings that draw upon the great myths of humanity.

But, I had work to do and my wife would probably be grateful that I not bring home yet another book to cram into an already full wall of books that make up our den.

It’s not that she doesn’t like books. She just can’t stand my clutter. And nothing I can say or do can assuage her wrath on this subject. Not even my justifications for an organized clutter.

I can’t let go of my books and donate them either. I am too fond of them (or too selfish), I tell myself. Heck, I need them because I frequently go back for a re-read or for reference. That’s my justification anyway. So, I have a special respect for the brave souls who part with their books.

As for the reading interests of the Claytonians who buy books at the Used Book Sale, fiction is the most popular type of book sold followed by children’s books according to Boyd.

The weekend Used Book Sale wrapped up with a Bag Sale. This is where members of the public buy a paper bag for $3 and can fill the bag with books that have not been sold yet.

I was warned not to stand in the hallway when the Bag Sale buyers are released from the front desk. This was good advice because the Bag Buyers moved to the bookshelves in what could only be described as a low speed stampede.

As for me, you guessed it; I could not leave empty handed. A title jumped out at me from the fiction section. “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett was a book recommended by a Facebook friend. I could not leave without it.

Besides, for a mere 50 cents there was no way I could leave it orphaned. I have a new home for it now.

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