Those who are familiar with the annual Friends of the C.H. Booth Library Book Sale know that the volunteers strive to make each year bigger and better than the previous one. Whether it is a change of venue that offers air-conditioned comfort, precise categorization of fiction and nonfiction books, or the discovery of rare editions that provide exciting opportunities, the Friends freshen up the popular event every summer.
This year, donations have provided the Friends with plenty of new material to offer to the public.
Volunteer Barbara Yarbrough, in charge of the science fiction division, said that the Friends has received a large collection of Star Trek books, both paperback and hardcover. These books cover the original series through The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. Trekkies will be pleased with the selection of comics, graphic novels, and even official Star Trek Fan Club magazines, all in very good condition.
“I love the Dr Who shows,” said Ms Yarbrough, of the children’s television series that began in Great Britain 50 years ago, and became popular in the United State in the 1970s.
“We received about a dozen copies of Files Magazine, from the early years,” Ms Yarbrough said. Those magazines feature Tom Baker as Dr Who, she said.
Star Wars fans will not be left out. Dozens of coffee table and companion books related to Star Wars will be offered at the July 13–17 book sale.
Science fiction is also well represented in the DVD collection, which Eleanor Zolov, head of the media division, said is “outstanding,” this year. Several science fiction films and series, including FarScape, will attract fans of that genre.
Offerings outside of the science fiction genre are plentiful. More than 1,000 DVDs will fill the tables at the 38th Annual Book Sale. They are pleased to have four copies of the Superman movie, starring Christopher Reeves, which Ms Zolov expects will be snapped up quickly.
“What is really special and what our customers have to look forward to this year,” Ms Zolov said, “is that not only do we have a great number of DVDs to offer, but they will be in excellent shape and digitally polished.”
The Friends of the C.H. Booth Library purchased a high quality DiscChek disc repair and resurfacing machine this spring, allowing the Friends to digitally check every DVD donated for scratches and any other marring that might hinder watchability.
Suzy Angier is one of the volunteers who tests the many DVDs donated to the book sale.
“Every DVD that comes in will be inspected on the DiscChek,” said Ms Angier, and if damaged sections are noted, the disc is buffed in the companion Eco Auto Smart repair system. “It grinds off a very fine layer, getting rid of smudges and scratches,” Ms Angier explained. The disc is then reinspected in the DiscChek, and if necessary, buffed again. The process takes approximately three minutes per disc, and so far, said Ms Angier, every compromised disc has been effectively repaired.
The library and Friends will share the use of the machine, said Friends volunteer Toni Earnshaw, saving the library many dollars and allowing the Friends to offer peace of mind to purchasers of DVDs at the book sale.
“We realize that DVDs and CDs are increasingly important at the sale,” said Ms Earnshaw, “and over time, this machine will pay for itself. The library won’t have to replace damaged DVDs, and the book sale volunteers can assure buyers that any DVD purchased is playable.” Every processed DVD is sealed with a sticker that notes it has been inspected. “I don’t think this is a service any other book sale can say they offer,” she said.
The DiscChek is a huge time saver for the book sale volunteers. “Julie Starkweather used to actually take home as many DVDs as possible and watch them, to check for damage. It was hours of work!” said Ms Earnshaw. In previous years, all that the Friends had available to repair damaged DVDs was a lesser quality buffer. Sometimes the scratches came out, sometimes they did not. The DVDs were always sold “Buyer Beware!”
“Now, we can pretty much guarantee any DVDs bought at our book sale are in working condition,” Ms Earnshaw said. Because the DiscChek machine arrived only this spring, volunteers have not had time to include CDs in the inspection process. However, said Ms Earnshaw, the goal is to include CDs in future years.
Checking CDs may require a few more volunteers. This year, the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library have a collection of more than 3,000 CDs for sale.
In addition to opera, rock, jazz, country, and classical CDs, there is a good selection of movie soundtracks in the CD collection. “These are very popular, and all of the CDs go so quickly at the sale,” said Ms Zolov. “We have many audio books on CD this year, too,” she added.
The VHS has gone the way of the dinosaurs, for the most part, but the Friends make an exception for unusual VHS donations. “We have accepted a collection devoted to major artists, and have a wonderful selection of opera on VHS,” Ms Zolov said. The VHS tapes will not have their own category at the book sale. Buyers should look for the VHS artist series with the art books; the opera VHS selections in the music department; and a nice woodworking VHS series in the crafts books section.
It might be hard not to get distracted in the crafts books section, as a good number of instructive art books and craft books have been donated. “These are very nice books, in excellent condition,” Ms Earnshaw said.
“We’re always excited to offer something new,” she said.
The 38th Annual Friends of the C.H. Booth Book Sale takes place Saturday, July 13, through Wednesday, July 17, at Reed Intermediate School, 3 Trades Lane. The book sale runs from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday, with all items at full price; Monday, from 9 am to 7 pm, all items are half-priced; Tuesday, 9 am to 7 pm, fill a bag with books for $5; and Wednesday, 9 am to noon, when all items are free. There is a $5 admission, on Saturday only, for adults. Numbered admission tickets go on sale at 7 am, Saturday morning. A $1 off admission fee can be found at www.boothbooksale.org/coupon.html.