Every Bookworm For Himself @ the FOL Sale

Eugene, OR is having its 28th annual Friends of the Library Booksale, and like most large FOL sales, it's a hectic business at best, a battleground at worst.

Register Guard describes the tension mounting as the opening moment approaches: "See the buyers, some who'd waited all night, clutching empty cardboard boxes, plastic bins, duffel bags and rolling suitcases, waiting eagerly as the minutes tick closer to the appointed hour. Watch as the doors open at 8:55 a.m., and the book lovers and dealers come rushing in, running to the book-laden tables, as a volunteer yells, unheeded, "Don't run! Don't run! Don't run!"

Step aside as buyers swarm the neatly stacked books, grabbing handfuls without checking titles, shoving them into boxes, then skidding them along the smooth concrete floor to designated holding areas. Then doing it all over again."

It's a huge amount of work for the Friends, sometimes resulting in a significant profit for the library, sometimes not. Used book dealers are usually welcome, though are often looked at with a jaundiced eye.

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