EAST WINDSOR: The happy faces of book lovers: Hickory Corner Library has annual sale

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East Windsor Resident Pearl Papp looks through some of the many books that were available Nov. 18 at the Hickory Corner Branch Fall Book Sale.

By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
Books, books, books – any kind of book is fine with Ada Laabes.
That’s what drew Laabes to the annual book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Hickory Corner Library, 138 Hickory Corner Road.
“I love reading,” Laabes, who lives in Willingboro and make the trek to the book sale with a friend. Laabes focused on books, but her friend was looking for DVDs at the book sale.
“You have access to a lot of books at a good price. The reality is, a lot of people read a book once,” Laabes said, pointing to the pristine condition of some of the books at the sale.
The fact that the books are inexpensive – paperback books cost 50 cents and hardcover books cost $1.50 – was another draw for Laabes. In a bricks-and-mortar bookstore – or even an online one – many of the books at the sale would have cost $20 to $30 or more.
But at the book sale, Laabes found a copy of “The Last Secret of the Temple” by Paul Sussman for $1.50 – a book that would have cost $14.99.
Laabes said this is the first time that she had visited the Friends of the Hickory Corner Library book sale. From the moment she walked in the door, she said, she was struck by the “happy faces” of the other book-lovers who were also searching for new finds.
“This is a beautiful thing. It’s fun. You put yourself on a budget, and most of the time, you’ll be able to keep it (because of the reasonable prices),” she said.
This year’s book sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Hickory Corner Library, marks the 14th consecutive year that it has been held. The book sale began in 2004, and it has grown each year – both in size, and in the number of visitors.
The first year that it was held, the book sale was a one-day event, said Eleanor Seel, the Friends’ treasurer. It has grown into a four-day sale, which began Nov. 16 and wrapped up on Nov. 19.
The book sale opened early on Nov. 16 to allow the Friends of the Hickory Corner Library members to get first crack at the books at a members-only sale. A membership costs as little as $5 for senior citizens and students, and as much as $25 for families.
Then, the sale opened to the public.
At the sale, the books were arranged on tables in the main library and in the community room. They were organized by topic – everything from science fiction to cooking to biographies, hobbies, humor, history and politics.
If the Friends find that enough books have been written by one author, the books are arranged on shelves set off by themselves. This year, there were shelves full of books written by Scott Turow, Michael Crichton, Jodi Picoult and Ken Follett, among others.
People drop off books, DVDs and CDs to the Friends group for sale at the annual event, said Debby Scherholz, president of the Friends’ board of trustees. Proceeds from the book sale are donated to the library to pay for programming and incidentals, such as equipment.
Last year, the Friends of the Hickory Corner Library donated $3,660 for children’s programs; $2,704 for the summer reading program for children and teens; $1,677 for adult programs, and $1.074 for movie licensing and museum passes.
“We are grateful for the support from the community. People have donated good, quality books,” Scherholz said.
For more information about the Friends of the Hickory Corner Library, email the group at [email protected].