The Friends of the Library of Hawai’i Annual Booksale has been one of those must-go summer events for me ever since my family and I moved to this island. However, for the past couple of years I’ve skipped attending opening day because either I had no time or didn’t want to deal with the first-day-of-the-sale long lines and crowds.
This year I decided to be part of the opening day excitement again, but I was surprised when half-hour into the book sale, I got to the McKinley High School Cafeteria and there was no line waiting outside the door. Where did the crowds go? Surely, they couldn’t all be watching the Argentina vs. Iran soccer game. I remember past opening days when the volunteers at the door would allow only a certain number of people to go inside the building because of fire department ordinances. Back in those days, I used to squeeze myself and my box through rows of people crowding around the tables. But today, people were milling around the rows of books. It was pretty tame for a first day.
The Friends of the Library Annual Booksale is the biggest book sale in the State of Hawaii. Under one roof (and a tent), you can find all kinds of used books: thrillers, mysteries, romance (they even sell them by the box), historical novels, poetry, self-help, history, politics, young adult, children, cookbooks, crafts, dictionaries, how-to, atlases, and if you’re lucky, you may find a rare edition of a book.
I hope today’s attendance was not a reflection of a loss of interest in books and in reading. It cannot be. I want to think that maybe people are waiting for the tent sale days or the 50% off day. Going to the book sale is like going to a treasure, book treasure hunt. You’ll end up sweaty, and your arms might be sore for carrying your box of finds around, but it is all for a worthy cause. Help the libraries by helping yourself to a pile of good books.
The Friends of the Library of Hawai’i Annual Booksale going on now! June 21-June 29.