By Mike Morsch, Executive editor
If you are a fan of Scrooge McDuck — the maternal uncle of Disney character Donald Duck — then the annual Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale at Princeton Day School would have offered you a mother lode bigger than what the miserly cartoon tycoon frequently dives into in his money bin.
Had you gotten there early enough.
That’s kind of how the annual book sales goes. It’s often wise to get there early when all the good stuff is still there.
A Scrooge McDuck graphic novel, created by Carl Barks for the Walt Disney Company in 1947 and found in the Collector’s Corner rare book room at the sale, was among the always popular graphic novels available at around 30 percent of the Amazon listing price Friday, the first day of the sale.
“We’ve got a ton of books this year,” said Elizabeth Romanaux, president of the Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale. “Right when we reached our usual number of books this year, three professors died and left us their collections. We couldn’t turn that down.”
That makes for about 110,000 books available for purchase at the 85th annual event.
Started in 1931, the sale is the longest-running and largest used-book-selling endeavor on the East Coast, according to the group’s website. It is renowned for not only the number of books but also the quality it offers.
Preview Day, which was Friday, required a $25 ticket purchase to gain entry.Volunteer Joe Taylor, who’s been helping out for about 10 years, stands as one of the sergeants-at-arms outside Collector’s Corner. The room is small, so only a limited number of collectors can be in the room at the same time.
Mr. Taylor said the patient collectors are usually well behaved as they wait their turn to get into the room that holds the really high-end books. He hasn’t yet had to tackle anyone making a rush for the door.
“It helps that it isn’t raining or snowing this year,” said Mr. Taylor. “I enjoy the books, too. And we’re raising money for a good cause.”
Preview Day drew a larger than usual crowd this year, a tribute to the quality and quantity.
“We’ve had a huge uptick in dealers and collectors on the first day,” said Ms. Romanaux. “We usually sell around 80 tickets on the first day, but this year we’re around 280 tickets.”
Proceeds from the sale go to scholarships for local students. The organization also recycles a large number of books, provides a place for book lovers to buy good-quality volumes at reasonable prices and helps those who want to reduce the sizes of their libraries.
The sale is held when Princeton Day School goes on break, which this year includes a day off for Easter Sunday. The schedule for the remaining days of the show includes:
Saturday, March 26: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 27: Closed for Easter.
Monday, March 28: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 29: Half-price day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Collector’s Corner closes for the remainder of the sale at 3 p.m.
Wednesday, March 30: $10 a box day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Princeton Day School is at 650 Great Road in Princeton. Visitors are asked not to use the rink driveway entrance and to park and enter the building at the northwest end. Do not park in the fire lane.
For information about the sale, visit the group’s website at www.bmandwbooks.com.
PRINCETON: Bibliophiles flock to 85th annual Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale (With multiple photos)
By Mike Morsch, Executive editor