Record inventory awaits shoppers at book sale

Mike Easterling

FARMINGTON — An unprecedented number of items will be available for purchase when the annual book sale at the Farmington Public Library opens a five-day run Saturday, Sept. 10.

Tami Jo Bechdol makes her purchases during last year's book sale at the Farmington Public Library.

Program Coordinator Jenny Lee Ryan said she had no idea how many books, CDs, DVDs and other items will be included in the sale, but she knows it’s more than the library has ever offered before because the book sale’s storage facility was already filled last week, and volunteers were depositing boxes of books in the Multipurpose Room at the library. That’s never happened in the history of the event, she said.

“We did get a record number of donations this year,” Ryan said. “This is the year everybody cleaned out their storage sheds and brought us their books.”

The materials included in the sale, which is organized by the Farmington Public Library Foundation, are culled from the library’s collection and from materials donated by members of the public. Ryan said the library relies on its materials selection policy to determine which items will be included in the sale each year.

“They really have a number of factors they look at for each and every book,” she said.

Some reference materials become outdated quickly because new editions are released each year, she said, and those are always strong candidates for inclusion in the sale, as are the library’s periodicals. Other materials that frequently wind up in the sale are books that were popular a few years ago, leading the library to buy several copies for its collection to meet the demand of borrowers. As those titles fade in popularity, library officials will include some of those excess copies in the sale.

Shoppers browse through stacks of books during last year's book sale at the Farmington Public Library.

Ryan said organizers decided to raise the prices of the books this year for the first time. Prices will start at $2 for hardcover books and $1 for paperbacks, and those prices are reduced over the course of the event.

“We’ve had the same price for 25 or 30 years,” she said.

The price hike actually might work to the benefit of local residents, Ryan said, explaining that the low prices the library charged for so long led large numbers of book resellers to stock up on their inventory through the sale. The price increase could discourage those book resellers from purchasing so many materials, she said.

“We think more people will have a better chance at a better selection,” she said.

Of course, the price increase also is intended to help raise more money. The money from the sale goes to the foundation, which provides funding for many of the library’s public programs, including the annual Summer Reading program and the Prime Time Family Literacy program.

Volunteers Lenart Tso and Marcos Candelaria open boxes Sept. 5, 2014, in preparation for the Farmington Public Library's annual book sale.

Ryan said the event typically has raised $14,000 to $15,000 a year in the past, and organizers are hoping to see it generate $20,000 this year.

The mobile food vendor Si Senor will be on hand outside the library this year on the sale’s first day so that hungry shoppers can enjoy a hot breakfast. There is usually a long line of shoppers waiting at the library’s doors when the sale begins each year.

For those who are looking to make the most of their book sale shopping experience, Ryan had a few suggestions. She recommended making a quick pass through the selections in search of obvious favorites, then hauling those purchases to the car before pausing to enjoy a breakfast burrito. After that, a more leisurely and focused examination of the offerings is in order, she said.

“You definitely want to get there first thing — and then go in shifts,” she said.

Mike Easterling is the A&E editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.

If you go

What: The Farmington Public Library Foundation’s annual book sale

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Monday, Sept. 12 through Wednesday, Sept. 14

Where: The Multipurpose Room at the Farmington Public Library, 2101 Farmington Ave.

For more information: Visit or call 505-599-1270