Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale starts this weekend!

If you live in Ithaca, one of the questions you will inevitably be asked is “Did you go to book sales?” If you’re new to Ithaca, you can look at the person asking you the question and ask yourself what they mean – but long-time residents know that “selling books” can only mean one event. of the genre, eclipsing everyone else in the region and even nationally – the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library Book Sale.

How many pounds does it take to be the third largest in the country? Book Sale sells hundreds of thousands of items each year between its two book sales. The fall sale is the biggest one, but the spring event is definitely worth a look. Over 250,000 books, CDs, videos, DVDs and other items will be sold on the book sales site – 509 Esty Street – when the sale begins on October 9. All items are used, donated by community members.

Hardcover books will cost $ 4.50 on opening day, but other items, such as children’s items, paperbacks, CDs, DVDs, and records will be priced lower. . The prices are also falling every day. In the end, the items sell for a dime each or, in the last few hours, for a dollar a bag! If you want the best choice, plan to arrive early on the first day.

Books are sorted into over sixty categories, then sorted in a logical order for the category – most often alphabetically by the author’s name. This sale may only be the third largest in the country, but it is certainly the best organized.

Money raised from the sale of books goes to libraries and literacy efforts in Tompkins County. Much of the money goes to our public library, but the money also goes to the Finger Lakes Library System, local literacy related nonprofits, and grants for those studying science. from the library.

It takes the continuous efforts of the local community to keep the book sales going year after year. More than 300 volunteers collectively devoted more than 14,000 hours to the success of the sale. Some also donate baked goods and other items to keep volunteers motivated for the gargantuan task of sorting through all of the items. Community members can help by donating books and joining Friends themselves.

Although the Friends accept book donations for most of the year, donations are currently on hold until November 11, so there is no continuous influx while the sale is finalized. Once the hold is lifted, you can drop off your books at the Spring Sale Book Sale building. Donation guidelines can be found on the Book Sale website at You can contact Book Sales at 607-272-2223 if you need more information or to make special arrangements.

People come from all over the world to visit the sale. Booksellers across the country know this is a good place to stock up on supplies, although the sale has rules designed to ensure that non-resellers have an equal chance of getting a good deal. And local residents are the largest customer population for book sales. Local artist Jon Haeffner said, “Selling books helps me build my reference library, which is invaluable to an artist on a budget,” specifically mentioning that he was able to buy Time-saving interior design standards for one twentieth of the new price. Resident Jessica Lynn Bennett enjoys discovering unique and personal items, especially in the final days of the sale when prices drop sixty to seventy percent. “My best sheet music was a Kate Bush EP from a radio station that had handwritten recordings of the songs they played on what date,” she says. “It was twenty-five cents.”

Buying books from Book Sale is a great way to expand your own library or get some inexpensive Christmas gifts. Many items are in great condition despite being used, and where else will you find hundreds of thousands of items for $ 4.50 or less? The book sale is one of those great events in Ithaca that helps make our community a great place to live!

The fall sale begins on Saturday, October 9. All days start at 10 a.m. and continue until 8 p.m. The book sale will be open on October 9-11, 16-18 and 23-26. The senior day (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the student evening (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) are on October 20. More details on

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