Sand Dollars

Words Are Cheap – Falmouth Library Used Book Sale

Brian Tarcy
Written by Brian Tarcy

FALMOUTH – Nothing says summer on Cape Cod like the Falmouth Library used book sale. Wait, a book sale?

“People arrange their vacations around this book sale,” said Lenny Miele, a volunteer and former president of the Friends of the Falmouth Public Library. “It’s packed every day.”

Nancy English, president of Friends of Falmouth Libary, and Lenny Miele, former president.

Nancy English, president of Friends of Falmouth Libary, and Lenny Miele, former president.

For one week, from July 1 to July 7, the Friends offer 50,000 used books for sale under several tents on the library lawn. Books, donated throughout the year, are sold, for the most part, for either $1 or $2. Some specialty books or collector’s items cost more.

According to Nancy English, President of the Friends, “We raised $50,000 in the book sale last year.”

“We provide and support programs for the library that the town cannot provide,” said Miele.

The Friends is an organization of about 450 members, with 15 board members, said English. “If the library needs supplies, they come to us,” she said. “We recently bought six computers for the library. There is an exhibit by the photography club going up in the library and we bought the materials to hang the art on the walls.”

Library Director Leslie Morrissey said, “Without the Friends, we couldn’t provide half the services we provide. They work really hard for the library.” And, she pointed out, they do they donate so much time during the week of Fourth of July.

Miele pointed out that the Friends hold a second, smaller book sale in the winter, and that the Friends also raise money with an honor system used book sale in the basement of the library. “This raises $1,000 a month,” he said.

And some of the more expensive books don’t go into the book sale, but are instead sold on Amazon, said Miele. Essentially anything worth more than $40 is sold on Amazon. Those Amazon sales also bring in $1,000 a month.”

The Falmouth Library used book sale is like Christmas in July.

The Falmouth Library used book sale is like Christmas in July.

The books are donated year round in a depository in the library basement, and volunteers come in twice a week to sort books into categories and then box them for the book sale. “We had 1,700 boxes of books this year, and more than 50,000 books,” said Miele.

According to English, the most popular books are children’s books, quality paperbacks, and mysteries.

And in this modern world where almost everyone spends much of their day staring at a tiny electronic screen for reading material, there is something about a book. “People love picking up a book. They love the intimacy of it. They can curl up in bed with it,” said English.

As Morrissey pointed out, with books “the technology is very easy to learn. There is no learning curve.”

The sale runs July 1 to July 7, from 10 AM to 4 PM each day except the final day, when the sale ends at 2 PM.

On the second last day of the sale, books are priced at half price. On the final day of the sale, books are “a buck a bag,” said Miele.

Of the 50,000 books for sale, Miele said, “We’ll sell way more than half of them.”

 

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Brian Tarcy

About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His most recent book is, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face. For more information see Briantarcy.com, Almostbook.com, and Whatzgonnahappen.com (NFL Picks).

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