What was started 34 years ago by a group of friends who wanted to help Oklahoma libraries has blossomed into an annual event that brings thousands of book lovers to Oklahoma City in search of a good read at an affordable price.
“We started small and probably raised just about $5,000,” said Beth Toland, a volunteer deemed the “voice” of the nonprofit organization, Friends of the Metropolitan Library System. “Overall I doubt if we had 1,000 books.”
Since then, the organization has sold millions of books during the annual sale and has donated $3.1 million to the Metropolitan Library System.
Each year the organization has a sale in the Oklahoma Expo Hall at State Fair Park, offering donated books gathered from libraries across the state.
This year, the sale will run be from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
A presale party is from 5:30. to 9 p.m. Friday at the same location. The pre-sale is for members of the Friends organization, and Friends memberships will be sold in the lobby from noon to 4 p.m. Friday and again after 6 p.m.
Annual dues are $10 for individual or family memberships and $6 for seniors.
Admission to the sale Saturday and Sunday is free. Hardback books typically sell for $1 and paperbacks for 50 cents.
In the “collectors choice” area, books are priced individually, with most under $5.
The books cover a range of subjects, from western to romance to medical to cookbooks, plus a large selection of audio books, videos and DVDs, according to publicity Chairman Shirley Pritchett.