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Friends of the Library Book Sale set for next week

November 8, 2018
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

More than 11,000 books will be offered the Cape Coral Friends of the Library Book Sale, filling the main meeting room of the Cape Coral Library to its capacity.

"It is a book lover's heaven," Friends of the Cape Coral Library President Monica Rahman said, adding that there are wall-to- wall tables of books.

The sale, which has been offered for two decades, will kick off with a Members Only Preview Sale from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. The sale will continue from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.

"Even if people come at the last minute there is still a good selection. You can still find great bargains," she said.

Those who are not a member of the Friends of the Cape Coral Library can become one at the door Thursday for $15 per family.

The preparation for the sale is an ongoing yearly effort.

"We collect the books all year round. People drop them off at the library and then we transport them to a warehouse unit. We have to rent a storage unit for all of them. Right now we have so many books, we had to get a second storage unit for the overflow," Rahman said.

Over the past 11 years, Book Sale chairs Bob and Paula Novander, who are retiring after this sale, have organized 22 sales. She said the Novanders have been incredible organizers of the events.

"They are retiring after this sale and two people will now be learning the ropes, Bonita and Steve Olesen. They are really excited about taking on this daunting challenge," Rahman said.

Over the past 11 years, some $275,000 has been raised.

She said the books are stored over a six- month period and sold in the April and November book sales.

"We bring them to the large meeting room in the library and that is when all the boxes are opened, sorted and put out on all the tables," she explained. "We do not save books from a previous sale. They are brand new to the sale."

The books not sold at the sale are boxed up and sold to a book reseller.

Forty members volunteer their time for the sale, taking on different shifts and responsibilities.

"They open up the hundreds and hundreds of cartons of books and then sort them by fiction and nonfiction. Then they sort the nonfiction by category," Rahman said.

The nonfiction categories include history, military, art, crafts, cooking, home and garden, self-help, religion, philosophy, sports and children's books. There is also a collection of audio books, DVDs and music CDs.

"Even though the books are donated, some of these look as if they are brand new and not even cracked open," she said.

Hard cover books are $2, soft covers are $1 and children's books are half the price of adult books. Cash and checks are accepted.

"We do have a lot of children's books, but they go like hot cakes," Rahman said.

Throughout the sale, the volunteers straighten the items for sale, act as cashiers, assist shoppers and clean up after the sale.

The Cape Coral Library is at 921 S.W. 39th Terrace, approximately one block west of Skyline and one block north of Mohawk.

The money raised during the book sale is used to pay for items that are not covered by the Lee County Library System budget.

"We also provide enhancements to the library experience," she said.

Some of those enhancements include a local artist art gallery, as well as a butterfly garden.

"We pay for lots of programs at the library. We are also a generous sponsor of the annual SWFL Reading Festival," Rahman said.

Every couple of years the Friends of the Cape Coral Library like to fund a major project, which they recently finished over the past few months. She said they purchased 40 beautiful new work and display tables for the library.

"We save up the money until we hear something that the library would like, or needs, and then we decide to make those purchases," she said. "The book sale replenishes our funds."

The Friends of the Cape Coral Library currently has 280 members who pay dues. The nonprofit group is holding its next membership meeting on Saturday, Nov. 24, with a social and refreshments at 9:30 a.m., followed by a meeting and presentation at 10 a.m.

The topic is Florida Friendly Landscaping with the Lee County master gardeners.

"The general meeting is open to the public," Rahman said.



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