Best books at Library’s big sale Sept. 22

Rappahannock News Staff Photo/Jan Clatterbuck

Targeting book dealers for its first big sale of donated used books, the Friends of the Rappahannock Library (FOL) also are offering county residents a chance to purchase an array of more than 500 valuable books at wholesale prices later this month.

Sale notices were mailed to some 60 book dealers in the region and a small notice was in the newspaper, but additional details were announced this week about the sale, which takes place from 1 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the main library building on U.S. 211 near Washington.

“This is FOL’s first venture into book selling on a large scale,” said Frieda Herman, who with Helen Williams spearheaded the sale of the most valuable of the books donated to the library’s Book Barn. Each book was researched on Internet databases to determine value, which Herman explained “is a wholesale price not retail, which will give the library a profit and much-needed support while allowing others to benefit as we move our best books along to new owners.”

The Book Barn offers a regular showcase of rare, valuable and notable books; they are offered to the public for purchase each week. “However, the volume of books that had been researched and value determined was more than we could handle in the Saturday hours our Book Barn is normally open each week,” said Lois Snead, FOL treasurer and Book Barn chairman. The idea behind this month’s sale is to “test the waters” and afterward to debrief the volunteers who have put so much effort into the project, Snead said, to determine whether the venture which is worth repeating.

Thanks are extended by FOL to Anne and Peter Hansen, who first initiated the research program which ferrets out valuable books for sale and worked diligently to make it a success; and to donors of two recent, large collections of distinguished book titles.

The upcoming “dealer” sale will include collections donated to the library by Kathryn and Richard Bull (longtime residents who both were active in civic and charitable efforts, she an active supporter and member of FOL and of the Trinity Church Garden Guild) who moved to Washington, D.C.; and by the estate of photographer Richard Lykes, highly regarded for his many civic contributions.

Among the many volumes in the upcoming big sale are some in poor condition as well as those that may be in top shape, first editions signed by the author or otherwise authenticated as rare. But all are of added value far beyond the normal $2 price of most Book Barn hardbacks. Many cover unique subjects including art, architecture, history, biography, gardening and agriculture, but overall there is a great variety of subjects being offered.

To obtain a database list, email a request to Helen Williams,, who agreed to provide the latest summary list of sale books being offered in the Sept. 22 event.

FOL President Kathleen Robertson noted that although the Book Barn team is selling a great volume of books in the special sale, it continues to welcome book donations. “They help us bring in added funds particularly important in this difficult economic period, needed to continue providing provide books, magazine and newspaper subscriptions and computer support for the Library and Book Barn.”

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