Library Book Sale Always on the Car Show Weekend

book sale old car
The regulars who help categorize the donated books each week for the library book sale are left to right: Ruth Lange, Dortha Bratt, Gail Reisterer, Billie Gale Hayward, Mary Ann Hayward.

By Sue Moore

Over 2,000 books are generously donated from the community for the Vicksburg District Library’s annual book sale, according to Gail Reisterer, mastermind behind organizing the cache of books each year.

The sale coincides with Vicksburg’s Old Car Festival each year, taking advantage of the large influx of visitors to the village. It begins on Friday morning, June 8 at 10 a.m. with book sellers and buyers lined up outside the library as they know a good deal can be had each year. The sale opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues until 5 p.m., when Reisterer hopes that more than $2,000 will have been raised to buy new books for the children’s library.

On Monday morning, June 11, another line will form to scoop up many of the remaining books at a price of $2 for all the books a person can stuff into a plastic grocery bag.

Despite the sales and the many volunteers who categorize the books each week during the year, Reisterer is concerned about how much longer the sale can survive. The sale peaked in 2010, when the fund reaped $3,204. It has been decreasing steadily ever since. She attributes that to a decline in interest in books generally.

“People still like to read an actual book, me included. But I can see how convenient it is to carry a book around on a Kindle or iPad. It’s just not the way I want to read and I’m hoping others feel the same way so we can keep this tradition alive.”

Getting ready for the book sale is an ongoing labor of love for five women Reisterer has recruited over the years. They meet every Tuesday morning in a downstairs alcove of the library, after some of them play bridge.

Most paperbacks are 25 cents; hardcovers are 50 cents. Newer books may be priced higher and are then categorized in genres. That way, a buyer can easily find their favorite read.

A few days before the actual sale, all the books are lined up on tables in the library basement. Directional signs are hung, volunteers are contacted by Reisterer for shifts of two hours and doors are finally flung open for the treasure hunters to dig in. “Nobody goes away unhappy,” she said. “It’s lots of work but well worth it.”

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