Ninety-one year old Rosemary Cancian headed straight from the front of the line to where the non-fiction books were on sale.
“I’m always the first one at the door,” she said as she with two dozen other patrons came into the Belmont Public Library exactly at 9 a.m. for the first day of the annual Friends Book Sale on Saturday, Oct. 18.
“I’m here looking for books that I shouldn’t buy because I have so many unread at home,” said Cancian, viewing a few biographies.
For most of the participants in the annual event, the aim was finding a book – all donated to the library throughout the year – they would be interested in reading.
“There is always something here that you can put on your bookshelf. It will take you years to get around reading them, but it’s there when every you want it,” said Cancian.
Artist Hai Nguyen stacked a large column of coffee table art books outside the main sales room as he continued to browse.
“I will take some of the pages out [of the books] for some inspiration,” he said.
The sale’s proceeds allows the Friends to purchase museum memberships, bring authors and demonstrations to the library while adding to the technology available to patrons, according to Gail Gorman, a Friend who helped managed the sale Saturday.
“This is the biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Gorman, noting the books were priced to be sold with hardcover and upscale paperbacks sold for $1.50 and art and coffee table books at $3.
As with every year, the children’s section was the place to be as parents and children saw their opportunity to store up on books that can be read during the holidays, snow days and when it’s just too cold to go outside.
Maggie and her dad, Josh Loewenstein, where sitting outside the children’s room to read a little bit of the books they just purchased.
“We’re here to get books,” said Maggie, who is seven years old and from Belmont.
The day before, 32 Belmont school teachers from all grades were able to take 900 books for free back to their classrooms.
“A lot of first-year teachers come every year to build up their personal libraries,” said School Committee’s Laurie Graham who volunteers at the sale.
The real bargain came Sunday when anyone could haul away a bag full of books for $5, which lends itself to helping groups that can use the reading material.
“We have people who run shelters for women who come for the bag sale to stock their shelves. That’s nice to hear,” said Gorman.
After the sale, the remaining books were being packaged up by high school volunteers to be taken away by a book wholesaler.
“On Monday, we start the process all over again for next year,” said Gorman.