Goshen County Library fall book sale opened Saturday

TORRINGTON – “It seems like everyone in this county loves to read.” 

These are the words of Karen Madigan, Goshen County librarian and organizer of the seasonal book sale.

Madigan began coordinating the event last October, after Patty Norris, who was in charge of the book sale for approximately 30 years, retired.

“It’s a real social event,” Madigan said. “We’ve been doing this for 30-plus years – people have come to expect it. I’m still tweaking it as I go … while keeping the traditions Patty had.”

The Goshen County Library Foundation hosts three book sales a year, one each in the winter, spring and fall. Madigan said the fall sale is typically the
largest event.

“We made $7,000 last year in October,” she said. “The goal this year is to break that. I think (the October event) is the biggest of all the sales because it’s before the holidays and we have Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas items for sale.”

Traditionally, the fall sale offers a Christmas table featuring Christmas-themed books for all ages. New this year, Madigan has also set up a large-print section and a collectors’ items table.

“The books on the front tables are usually more expensive than those on the shelves,” she said. “They range from $2 to $50, depending on the item. We have quite a few collectors’ items this time, some autographed and many first editions.”

Beginning Wednesday, shoppers can sip complimentary coffee and tea while they browse an estimated 25,000 items for sale – 90 percent of which represent year-round donations from the public.

“The sheer number of donations is overwhelming,” Madigan said. “But we’re very grateful for that problem.”

The library welcomes book donations, as long as they are clean, bug-free and with covers intact. They also accept magazines (craft, cooking and special collector editions only), as well as jigsaw puzzles.

“While we love donations, we ask that the public not bring donations during a book sale,” Madigan said. “Our volunteers who work the sale can’t always handles boxes of books, and there’s no place to put them during a sale. People may bring donations before or after sales.”

In an effort to show its appreciation to the community, the library often donates leftover sale books to local organizations.

“We try really hard to pay it back to the community. We’re so grateful,” Madigan said. “People come in for the senior center, hospital, nursing home, youth worker, veterans in Scottsbluff (Neb.) – we really try to clear everything out after the sale and give (the books) to someone who needs them.”

The library foundation has something new planned for the January sale, which will run one week only (Jan. 8-13) instead of two – a Fill-A-
Bag sale.

“We thought we’d try something new and see how the public likes it,” Madigan said. “It’s $15 per paper bag, and you get to pick whatever you like that fits in the bag. This also helps us clear out some storage areas that are overflowing with books.”

As always, the fall book sale is located at 2017 East A St. and runs from Saturday, Oct. 7 to Saturday, Oct. 21. The half-price sale is Oct. 16-18, and the box sale – where shoppers can fill a flat box with as many books that will fit for $10 – is Oct. 19-21. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

“It’s a whole lot of work and a whole lot of fun,” Madigan said of organizing the sale. “But it’s rewarding to see people in here shopping and having fun.”

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