Happy Spring Break to you! Maybe you have fabulous travel plans - Disneyland, Texas, Hawaii? Maybe you're like my family and are just staying home more than usual because everything is super crowded? :) Well whatever - I hope you're enjoying it!
So guess what? The Eugene Public Library's book sale is Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12. You go to this sale, right? If you've never been before, please plan on going - it's a hoot. Wonderful volunteers work for ages to get a bazillion books, cds, and dvds organized at the fairgrounds for eager shoppers to take home.
Here's how it works:
They start giving away timed and numbered entry tickets at 5:00 am Saturdaymorning (I know!! Early!) Doors open on Saturday at 9 am. Truly, I have done this sale for years, and it is chaotic every. single. year. I usually show up around 7:30. They give me a little ticket that says something like "9:20, #118". Then I leave, go get Starbucks, and sit and read until 9. Then I head back to the line, where hundreds of strangers are trying to get themselves in numerical order. It's hilarious. For some reason (probably the fact that it's early on a Saturday morning and usually raining), people are usually somewhat grumpy about this. It's a serious and weirdly competitive affair. My favorite part about lining up is watching the line for the event that is somehow ALWAYS scheduled in the next building over at the same time: a gun and knife show. I find this completely ironic and comical, because - well, it just is. :)
Now, you certainly don't have to be there at the crack of dawn. There are literally thousands of items. If you show up in the afternoon, I think you'll still have plenty to choose from. However, I've heard that it's pretty picked over on Sunday.
Once you're in the door, if you haven't remembered to bring a laundry basket or IKEA bag with you, grab one of the free liquor boxes they offer you (why are they always liquor? Does anyone know? Does the library have an inside man in the alcohol industry?) because you're going to need something to hold all of your fabulous finds.
The event is free to enter, but it's a fundraiser for the library, and there is a donation box as you enter. I try to slip a few bucks in if I feel like I haven't already taken out a second mortgage on my home to pay my overdue fees for the year.
Inside, the kid's materials are at the veeeerrrrrry opposite end of the room from where you enter. They're right in front of the stage. They're sorted really nicely: chapter books, craft books, picture books, biographies, holidays, etc. Most are $1. Granted, you can get books for littles much cheaper than $1 elsewhere in town, but I figure this is for a good cause. They also have a special section with books that are practically brand new, or rare, or super popular, and those are priced a little higher. I found a Disney "Cars" Search and Find book last year that was $2 and oh my word have we gotten our money's worth out of that one. So many fun finds!
The items for sale are mixed up: some are discarded library books, and others have been donated to the library for the sale. Some of them will have library stamps or barcode labels or whatever, but that just adds character, amiright?
The line moves pretty quickly, but it is also very long. This is not an event where you can pop in and out in 20 minutes. It is very, very crowded, and there are soooooo many boxes of materials to sort through. I would also really recommend against taking your kiddos with you, unless you've got a big kiddo who you can count on staying close by you and putting things back where they find them.
So there you go. The library book sale. It's really very fun, and I promise you will leave with a ton of treasures to revive your home reading rotation. And books for grownups! So many! I always leave with a giant stack to add to my already giant stack of "to read" books on my bedside table. One of these days it's going to crush me in my sleep.
Eugene Public Library Annual Book Sale
Eugene Fairgrounds in the Performance Hall
April 11-12, 2015
Hours: Saturday 9-6, Sunday, 10-4
Parking: plenty of free parking
Payment: Visa and MasterCard credit/debit cards, checks with ID, and there's an ATM in the lobby. Cash is fastest in my experience.
Food: I am pretty sure there are vending machines, but who has time to eat where there are books to be bought? So...maybe?
Cost: Free entry, most items cost a buck or two
Resting/Nursing Spots: The volunteers can probably scrounge up a folding chair for you to sit in. There are also benches in the lobby of the building, outside the room where the sale takes place.
Time Frame: Depends on how long you want to linger. I would be super surprised if you could make it in and out in under an hour. (Maybe there's someone out there who can do it? Let me know how?!) If you can, leave the kiddos with someone at home and plan on browsing for two hours or so.