Volunteers have worked down to the wire sorting nearly 40,000 books into categories for the annual Walla Walla Affiliate of American Association of University Women’s book sale.
For the 43rd year, members will host the sale that provides funding for scholarships for women. It will be Friday through Sunday at The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, 6 W. Rose St. Sale hours will be from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Over the course of a year, area residents and a book store closing its doors have donated high-quality paperback and hardback fiction and nonfiction books, children’s stories, DVDs, CDs, audio books and collectibles to the sale.
“Patrons can find books for their own reading pleasure, as well as gifts such as coffee table books, cookbooks, golden oldies or the latest best seller,” said book sale co-chairwoman Kay Raddatz.
The books are organized into 40 well-marked areas, including fiction, history, cookbooks, self-help, biographies, military history, western fiction, religion, art, science fiction, local history, sports, animals and many more.
Popular authors are grouped together so shoppers can easily find their favorites. An unusually large number of fiction titles came in this year, including about 600 large-print books.
“Shoppers will also find the largest selection of science fiction/fantasy books, graphic novels and manga in book sale history, due in part to the generous donations of Donna Wright from Just Right Books,” Kay said.
Look for a young adult category for 12- to 18-year-olds, new this year and managed by Walla Walla Community College librarian Jen Stutesman. Think “Harry Potter” for the young adult classification.
The “Goosebumps” series are chapter books.
Prices range from 50 cents to $4 for most items. Credit and debit cards will be accepted, in addition to check or cash payments.
Children 14 and younger each receive one free book of their choosing from the baby, picture or chapter book categories.
There is an extensive selection of vintage children’s books, Northwest and local histories, including a number of hard-to-find titles in the collectibles section. Collectible offerings include signed copies, fine bindings, art books, literature, illustrated books and more. Collectible books start at $8.
The collection of book donations continues with drop boxes at Harvest Foods, John’s Wheatland Bakery, in the alley behind the YWCA, Impress Salon on Plaza Way, Andy’s Market and Ace Hardware in Milton-Freewater. Arrangements for picking up large donations may be made by calling 509-386-0421 or 509-386-9369.
One patron in 2017 remarked that the sale is “a community service of epic proportions. It is so cool to get books at an affordable price and help with scholarships.” Another attested to the terrific assortment of well-organized books.
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. In the past 12 years, AAUW Walla Walla has given away more than $80,000 in scholarships to local high school women in various programs and to local women returning to college.
An additional $70,978 was presented in mini-grants to more than 40 local educational programs and events, including Lincoln High School Health Center, Impact!, Early Learning Coalition, St. Basil’s Academy, Walla Walla Police Department for domestic violence books, Girl Scouts, STAR Project, Walla Walla Public Schools 21st Century Afterschool Programs, Learning for Life Post 311 for Latino Club service projects, Court-Appointed Special Advocates, Head Start, Children’s Home Society, Walla Walla Public Library, Blue Mountain Action Council, Walla Walla County 4-H Leaders Council, Fort Walla Walla Museum and YWCA Walla Walla.
The sale has also supplied countless children and adults in the community with reasonably priced books, Kay said.