On Halloween, Bisbee author Colleen Crowlie read her book “The Curse of the Black
Bubblegum” to Patagonia Montessori School students at the Patagonia Library.
Photo by Laura Wenzel

My borderline unhealthy relationship with books began years ago, long before working at the library. As a child I’d sneak books off the shelf in my room well after bedtime to read under the covers or by the light that came through the crack under the door. In fact, I rarely got in trouble. If I did manage to get yelled at, it was probably for a late-night book offense.

Fast forward to adulthood with books everywhere around my house. I have stacks next to my bed, a collection on top of my dresser, and an entire wall of bookshelves in the guest bedroom. I even have college textbooks in the trunk of my car, which wouldn’t seem so ridiculous if I hadn’t left school over eight years ago.

This admission may sound cute, but the problem is that I don’t necessarily plan on reading all of the books I so obsessively collect. As I said before, I work at the library. All of the titles that I could possibly hope to read and more are contained within its walls. If the library doesn’t have a book that I want to read, I can borrow it from another library.

And yet I am still drawn to crummy paperbacks. It’s sacrilegious but I like to bend the covers back so that it feels a certain way in my hand (insert maniacal librarian laughter). I can’t do that with a library book.

That’s where the Friends of the Library book sale steps in. It’s either a godsend or a curse to someone like me, an enabler who whispers things like, “Pssst, Laura, if you get a third paperback, it’s only $2,” or “I know you don’t have a CD player, but you should buy these amazing jazz albums that you won’t be able to listen to.” Take my money, Friends of the Library.

All jokes aside, the book sale is pretty incredible. It is a well-curated collection of materials donated by community members that 100% benefits the library. Though there are two large book sales held every year during the Fourth of July and Fall Festival celebrations, it runs continuously in the library year-round.

It is especially helpful around this time of year because books make great gifts. Perhaps you will find a coffee table book for grandpa, or your favorite picture book to gift to your niece. Maybe you will even find the perfect beat-up paperback for yourself to enjoy.