Event gets underway Saturday, runs through Wednesday

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FARMINGTON — Avid readers who rely on the Farmington Public Library Foundation's annual book sale to beef up their personal library will be able to choose from an unusually large selection this year when the event opens its five-day run Saturday at the library.

This year's inventory includes approximately 1,150 boxes of books, according to Sharon Blue Eyes, the library's technical services coordinator, which is a new record. Jenny Lee Ryan, the library's program coordinator, said the sale normally averages approximately 850 boxes of books, so this year's total represents a substantial increase over that figure.

"We think people are in that cleaning-out-the-house mode and donating their books," Ryan said.

Blue Eyes estimated that each box contains approximately 25 books, so that works out to an inventory of nearly 30,000 books. That selection attracts not only readers both serious and casual, but also collectors and book sellers. Saturday's opening day is always the event's busiest day.

The Farmington Public Library Foundation, which organizes the sale, uses proceeds raised from the event to support library programs. The sale is staged by dozens of library staff members and volunteers, and the selection covers the entire Multipurpose Room, as well as several tables set up under a tent in the library courtyard.

Last year's event was held in late August for the first time. The sale traditionally was held after Labor Day, but organizers chose to experiment with the date to avoid competing against other events and keep staff members and volunteers from having to do preparation work for the sale over the holiday weekend. They were pleased with the results, Ryan said.

"It worked out really well," she said, explaining that the 2017 sale raked in a record $21,000 in revenue.

Organizers of the sale raised prices in 2016 for the first and only time in the event's history, charging $2 for hardcover books and $1 for paperbacks. Prices have remained the same since then, and Blue Eyes said complaints about the higher prices last year were minimal.

Ryan said today she was trying to arrange to have a food truck at the sale Saturday morning so that buyers who get to the library early could enjoy a donut or breakfast burrito and cup of coffee while they wait for the doors to open, but she hadn't received a commitment yet.

More: Farmington Public Library Foundation book sale opens 5-day run Saturday

Buyers are asked to abide by a 10-box per transaction limit when making purchases, Ryan noted. That helps keep people moving through the collection, she said, and allows purchases to be processed at a faster rate. Those who buy in larger volumes are welcome to return to the sale and purchase more books after taking their original purchases to their vehicle.

The sale features DVDs, CDs and periodicals, in addition to books. The event lasts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

The Farmington Public Library is located at 2101 Farmington Ave. Call 505-599-1270 or visit infoway.org for more information.

Mike Easterling is night editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.

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