No such thing as ‘too many’ books.

By Karin Marr
Flapjack Chronicle

These two children check out books at the sale.
These two children check out books at the sale.

Author Nora Roberts once said: “There’s no such thing as too many books. Someone has to own them, and it might as well be us.”

Dozens of people in Fortuna seem to agree, as they came out to support their local library, purchasing hundreds of the several thousand books available at the semi-annual book sale hosted by the Friends of the Fortuna Library.

The sale, held on March 9 at the Veteran’s Hall on Main Street in Fortuna, attracted a steady flow of people throughout the day long event and culminated in a fund-raising dinner of chicken cacciatore and polenta.

President of the Friends of the Library, Carol Kinser said that the proceeds support the Fortuna Library and “all those things that they no longer get funds for.”

Event coordinator Dale Harris said that the books for sale come from a variety of sources throughout the year. Most are donated but a few come from outdated books that the library no longer shelves. They run the gamut of genres, both fiction and non-fiction, children’s and adults books.

Of the books that don’t sell, some will make their way south to the Rio Dell Library sale held during Wildwood Days in August. Others will be available for the summer book sale.

Organization for the event is an ongoing process that the Board of the Friends of the Fortuna Library works toward all year.

“We just have certain things that need to be done,” Kinser said. “Like Dale is in charge of the book sale, and then you get all these volunteers to do that, and then there’s people who work on the dinner for tonight.”

Typically the prices run from 50 cents for paperbacks to $1 for hardbacks, though the children’s books range anywhere from 10 cents to $1, making it easier for younger readers to find and purchase their own favorites.

A man with a white hat holds a book in his hand near one of several tables filled with books.
A man with a white hat holds a book in his hand near one of several tables filled with books.

Relief volunteer Diane Harrow said this was the first time she had volunteered for the Fortuna Library.

“I’m straightening it up and keeping the kids off the stage,” she said, chuckling. “There’s somebody here all the time, not a big crowd all at once.”

Fortuna resident Jackie Simpson came prepared with a list of books she had already read.

“It’s an index of the books [I’ve read],” Simpson said. “‘X’ means I’ve read the book so I don’t buy it, because otherwise I have a tendency to walk out with boxes of books and I get home and discover that I’m buying the same thing over and over and over again. This time I’m trying to be smart by checking out the books.”

The comprehensive list does not encompass every book Simpson has ever read.

“I started this project about two years ago. I was cleaning house, getting rid of books, reading them and then getting rid of them, then bringing new books in, but I’m trying to make sure I’m not buying four copies of the same book,” she said. “I was loaning out books to girlfriends and I lost track of which books I’d given to whom, and then I was finding I had four copies with different covers. So I finally decided that I needed a system that would work. That’s when I went to indexing. This way I can see that I’ve already read ‘Dark Lady’ so I don’t need to buy that book, someone else can have it.”

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