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That’s a Lot of Books!

The 23rd annual Friends of the James Blackstone Memorial Library Book Sale opens to the general public today! Here’s what you need to know before you go!

Two hundred and seventy nine boxes of children’s books were sold last year at the annual Friends of the James Blackstone Memorial Library Book Sale raking in more than $10,000 for the organization. When Co-Chair Mary Hally started with the group in 2001, she said just $600 was made from the sale of children’s books. Overall, sales have continued to steadily increase every year said Hally, making the book sale one of the largest fundraisers of its kind in the area.

Set to bring in approximately $45,000 – what the group grossed last year in adult and children's book sales combined – more than 80 volunteers have been working all year readying for the 23rd annual sale which opened last night as a preview (members of Friends were invited to attend the preview for free and others could $15 to shop). The sale runs Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. (fill a bag for $10).

Right now, about 70,000 children and adult books are waiting for shoppers under the 10,000-sqaure-foot tent. Yesterday, Matt Hally, Mary’s husband and Co-Chair of the sale, was busy unpacking box after box of books and setting up the sale. But though Matt and many other volunteers were working double time the past few days to ready the goods for sale, year-round workers are putting in their time to sort and price books. Several retired teachers, Mary Hally said, meet every weekend to sort, price and pack the children’s books alone for sale.

From fiction to non-fiction, from coffee table to vintage – every kind of book and media you could imagine is for sale. Other items include music, video games, dvds and vhs tapes. Books start at 50 cents a piece; the sale is cash or check only.

Where Do All These Books Come From?

If you’re wondering where all these books come from, you can thank yourself! Year-round the Friends receive books through donation for the sale (you can drop off books for donation at 30 Harrison Avenue, route: {:controller=>"listings", :action=>"show", :id=>"community-dining-room"} --> near the entrance to the and at the near the book return). Hally added that a great relationship with the school system has also allowed them to collect many children’s books. The three elementary schools compete to donate the most books (by weight). This year students won first prize – a $300 donation for the purchase of new books for their library. students came in second and students came in third, each school receiving $200 and $100 respectively. (Read more about the schools' recent

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