Vermont’s largest book sale nearby

B y Jaime Thomas

Book lovers throughout the area should be gearing up to get some new, old books at Vermont’s largest book sale.

The Pawlet Public Library will hold its 46th annual book sale this Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28, at the Mettawee School in West Pawlet.

In order to get ready for the big sale, a large faction of volunteers who have been sorting throughout the year moved the material to the school on Wednesday during the big book move.

Library officials described the move as quite an operation, involving a transport fleet led by a traffic controller, a book brigade and a site expediter.

“It’s really incredible to see. We have four pickup trucks with trailers; I’ve been told it’s the equivalent of a tractor trailer load of books. It is a tremendous effort to move the books,” said Dolores Luebke, chair of the library board. After five years at the forefront of the sale, this is her last time leading the event.

“It has been a wonderful experience. It’s a fantastic event, and it’s been a privilege to be able to give back to my community,” she said.

Beth Kashner, the Pawlet librarian, said staff are grateful for Luebke’s efforts.

“We are so indebted for all that she’s done,” Kashner said.

One of Luebke’s goals was to change the sale so it was a real community event for people of all ages.

In the past it was mainly retired folks who organized the sale, but now local youth are very involved with unloading, sorting and cleaning up after the event. The move itself seems to be as huge a part of the sale as the weekend event. Luebke said the many volunteers involved are treated to pizza, ice cream and use it has a time to get to know each other and have fun with what they’re doing.

More than 25,000 books will be available for purchase at the long-running sale, with most costing $1 or $2, and the event will feature a room filled with reasonably priced unusual, rare and collectible books. There will be many paperback books, as well as hard backs, coffee table books, fiction, nonfiction, children’s and more. There will also be DVDs, CDs, audio books, puzzles, games and toys for sale.

To keep browsers full while they’re sorting through all the reading material, the Book Lover’s Café will offer breakfast food all weekend, with Mike Bellemare as grille chef. There will also be a bake sale offering goods that Luebke describes as incredible.

“You can come to our event, you can bring your kids—it’s amazing in our little town that we have so many people with so many talents,” she said.

She said the sale attracts buyers and sellers from as far away as Canada, New Hampshire and other nearby states. For bargain hunters, the Big Bad Bag Sale happens from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday.  Container costs are $2 per plastic bag, $3 for “green” bags from home and $5 for any size box a shopper chooses from the library supplies.

All proceeds from the sale, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, will benefit the Pawlet Public Library. For more information call 802-325-3123 or email pawlet_pub@vals.state.vt.us. Mettawee School is located at 5788 Vermont Route 153.

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