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Annual book sale raises funds for Shepherdstown Community Club

By Staff | Oct 18, 2019

Community members browse the two floors filled with books, during the annual book sale at the War Memorial Building on Thursday night. Toni Milbourne

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Every October, community members and visitors alike look forward to the annual Shepherdstown Community Club Book Sale. Two floors in the War Memorial Building are filled with table-after-table of books of every genre and type.

Those searching for bargains, deals or just the right book took advantage of Thursday evening’s preview sale, where for a fee of just $10, the individual could come in and peruse the books before the general public.

“This is the biggest dealer night we’ve ever had,” said SCC Board of Directors member Mark Kohut, who manned one of the checkout stations that evening.

According to Kohut, the club markets the book sale to dealers via direct mailings, notices to used bookstores and word-of-mouth.

“A lot of these folks are our regular townfolks,” Kohut said.

Shepherdstown Community Club Board of Directors member Mark Kohut checks out book selected by Ray Smock, on right, during the sale's preview event in the War Memorial Building on Thursday night. Toni Milbourne

One regular who made his way to the sale on Thursday evening was Robert C. Byrd Center Director Emeritus Ray Smock, who found a book on Watergate that piqued his interest.

“It’s in the news again. We’re about to impeach another president,” Smock said, mentioning he donates books to the sale each year, along with buying new books.

“I donated about 10 boxes. I’m trying to only buy five back,” he laughed.

According to Kohut, there are between 10,000 and 15,000 books in each sale, which is a major fundraiser for the club.

One component of the book sale making it successful, is the time and effort put into it throughout the year by club members, Kohut said.

“We take donations all year.Then we pre-sort all year,” Kohut said, mentioning the club has secured storage units at Valley Storage. “They donate one unit to us and we rent a second to hold all the books.”

By pre-sorting the books throughout the year, the time needed to prepare for the sale is shortened.

Kohut said the bulk of the set-up for this year’s sale was done on Oct. 9.

In addition to the thousands of books that are sorted and placed on the tables for sale in October, the club also maintains a give-away rack outside the War Memorial Building year-round.

“We also fill up several free little libraries,” Kohut said, naming the Little Free Libraries found at Sam Michael’s Park, Morgan’s Grove Park, the Wellness Center at Shepherd University, McMurran Hall and near the Little House. “We fill them up every week or two.”

According to Kohut, the free library at the Wellness Center sees the highest turnover of books.

“We are very proud of spreading those books around town,” Kohut said.

This year, proceeds from the book sale will go primarily to the SCC’s campaign to save the historic Morgan’s Grove Park.

In addition to Thursday’s pre-sale event, the sale continued Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with discounts given to purchases on Sunday.

To donate to next year’s book sale, contact the SCC at 304-876-3323, or visit shepherdstowncc.org. Books can be scheduled for pick up or drop off, depending on the donor’s need.