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Vol. LXV, No. 41
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
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Friends of the Princeton Library Book Sale Opens October 21 in the Community Room

Stuart Mitchner

“The phrase that always comes to mind when I think of the book sale is ‘it takes a village,’" said Sherri Garber co-chair with Eve Niedergang of the Friends of the Princeton Public Library Book Sale, which will be held from October 21 to 23 in the library’s community room and in a tent on Hinds Plaza. “First, we're so fortunate to live in such a wonderful community that cares about the library and books — our donations are plentiful and top-notch. Second, we have a dedicated and experienced core group of volunteers who work with us throughout the year and then we've got community members who help us out annually and we love having the opportunity to reconnect with them.”

Of the close to 65 volunteers working on the sale this year, there is a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and personalities, including art historians, scientists, professors, librarians, business people, teachers and other educators, former bookstore employees, a mother/daughter duo, high school and university students, and volunteers “well into their eighties.” They all help out, thanks to a love of books and the library.

A highlight of this year’s sale is a large selection of books about economics and psychology from Princeton University’s Daniel Kahneman, the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Economics, whose latest highly praised book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, is featured on this week’s book page.

“We also have strong collections of history and politics, beautiful art and architecture books, and numerous selections in philosophy and religion,” Ms. Garber said. “Our mystery and science fiction and fantasy collections are extensive this year, with lots of vintage and some first-edition volumes in each category.”

According to co-chairperson Eve Niedergang, the literary fiction and academic press books include a number of first editions and some signed volumes. “Vintage children’s books will be highlighted for 2011,” she said. “We also have a wide variety of old and unusual volumes, some dating from the 18th century, in fields ranging from belles lettres to quantum mechanics.”

An extensive selection of CDs (music and audiobooks), DVDs (feature films and television programs) and world language books will be for sale as well in the Hinds Plaza tent, an expansion of space that began with the 2010 sale. Sherri Garber explained: “Last year, because we had a plethora of wonderful donations, we decided to add a tent extending out from the community room into Hinds Plaza. Logistically, that was a little complicated because our sale starts on Friday and the Farmers’ Market is in the plaza on Thursday. We had the tent constructed, minus the sides, on Wednesday afternoon and some of the market vendors worked under our tent on Thursday. As soon as the market was over, the tent company put the sides on the tent and we started moving tables and books into position. We had a slew of volunteers lined up and it was amazing to see how quickly the empty space was transformed.”

Last year also saw the beginning of a relationship with the Sigma Chi fraternity, whose members not only help with book sale set up but act as a security force. “Last year they took turns guarding our tent to make sure it wasn’t vandalized,” said Ms. Garber. “Hiring security guards for three nights would have blown our budget so the help from Sigma Chi was invaluable. When I asked if they’d be willing to act as our muscle again this year I was told that hanging out in the library overnight was one of the highlights of their year.”

The book sale opens with a preview on Friday, October 21, from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission is $10 (free for Friends members) and numbered tickets will be for sale at the door beginning at 9 a.m. on the day of the sale. After the preview, admission is free for the remainder of the weekend. The majority of the stock is priced from $1 to $3, with art books and special selections priced higher. Free-admission times are Friday, October 21, noon to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, October 22, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Sunday, October 23, 1 to 5:30 p.m. On Sunday, books will be sold at half price all afternoon in the Community Room and 1-3 p.m. in the tent on Hinds Plaza. After 3 p.m., customers in the tent can fill a paper supermarket bag with books for $5 until the sale ends at 5:30 p.m.

During Saturday afternoon hours, the Cintas Document Shredding Truck will be at the library offering residents the opportunity to have documents shredded free of charge.

This year’s sale is made possible through the generosity of Barbara W. Freedman, a longtime member of the Friends and former Book Sale chairperson.

The library is in the Sands Library Building at 65 Witherspoon St. in Princeton Borough. Convenient parking is available on neighboring streets and in the borough-operated Spring Street Garage, which is adjacent to the library. Two hours of free parking is provided with a purchase from the annual sale. For more information about library programs and services, call (609) 924-9529 or visit

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