The Shepherdstown Men's Club will flood the War Memorial Building on German Street today with nearly 30,000 books for its fall book sale.
The book sale is the largest fundraiser that the SMC does all year. The men's club received the books as donations from individuals and families across the Eastern Panhandle, as well as some large contributions from Maryland.
The SMC is an IRS-recognized nonprofit organization. It relies heavily on the funds it gathers at fundraisers, such as the book sale. Event organizer for the past two years, Art Wineberg, estimated that the sale brings in between $7,000 and $9,000 most years. He expects this year's sale to do very well.
Catherine Wilson browses through a cookbook from 1890. The book sale begins at the War Memorial Building today. (Chronicle photo by Mike Cramer)
"This year we have some especially good books," Wineberg said.
Wineberg is co-coordinating the event with his wife, Susan Brown. Wineberg said she was so integral as a volunteer to last year's sale that she was promoted. The books sale event staff was made up entirely of volunteers.
"I just think it is a lot of fun, getting to sort through and see the books people brought in," said Catherine Wilson, one of the event's volunteers.
There will be a wide variety of books available at the sale. According to SMC President Michael Austin, there will be everything from novels to how-to books. Austin also said that the organization received a number of rare and valuable books as donations.
"We even have a few first-edition books," Wineberg said.
Amongst these books are cook books from the 1890s and multiple rare novels. There was even a carpenter's manual with a newspaper clipping, stuck in the pages, which showed Amelia Earhart's flight path while she was still flying across the Atlantic.
Most of the books at the sale are used, though the SMC received many new books as donations. Wineberg said that the used books are almost all in good condition.
According to Wineberg, many of the how-to books are new. These books make up the largest category of books available at the sale. Many were donated by a woman whose husband had bought a huge lot of them at an auction. When he passed, she felt that donating them to the men's club was a good cause, according to Wineberg.
Hardcover books at the sale will sell for $2 while paperbacks will sell for 50 cents. Wineberg said that while these prices are true for almost all of the books, the especially rare books may sell for quite a bit more.
Austin stressed the importance of the fundraiser and the SMC to the community.
"Our primary mission is to contribute to the quality of life in and around Shepherdstown," Austin said.
He said that the men's club supports numerous local events. Members also maintain the War Memorial Building as well as Morgan's Grove Park. Austin also said that the community as a whole looks forward to the book sale and that it is widely supported.
The book sale will take place Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., then on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some community members came out for the preview event Thursday night.