Still turning pages of ‘hard copy’ books

Technology has its place among those who enjoy reading.

But for many, nothing can beat the feel of turning pages in a simply bound book.

“Everybody has their own way of loving to read,” said Judy Pritchard, co-president of the Friends of the Fort Dodge Public Library board of directors, “but many of us still like to have a book in hand. We like to have a good hard copy.”

Those hard copies, and much more, will be available at the Friends Used Book Sale at the Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave. The sale begins Tuesday, operating from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday before ending on Saturday when it will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We have 12 to 15 tables full of books,” Pritchard said, “and then we usually have boxes underneath the tables, too. We are lucky so many people donate books to us. This community is truly good about giving to its causes.”

In addition to paperback and hardback books of all genres, categories and topics, the sale will offer magazines, VHS tapes and puzzles. Special books will also be marked and offered at the Friends Book Store in the library. They include copies autographed by the author, first editions and rare or difficult to find titles.

“The first day is our best day,” Pritchard said. “People like to get in and get a bargain before things can be picked over.”

Although, she added, there are people who wait for the last day. They like being able to get a bag of books for $1, even if the titles may not be their first choices. The variety offered during the sale is such that they can still find fictional accounts, true tales, and educational texts that catch their interest.

“Through reading you can travel all over the world from your arm chair,” Pritchard said, “and there is still plenty of call for real books – even encyclopedias.”

In fact, she said, the books and materials left after the sale is complete are boxed up and shared with local organizations, such as the Rabiner Treatment Center, as well as sent across the globe to readers in the Philippines.

“We like to share our wealth,” Pritchard said. “We like to send the books to where they can best be put to use. We distribute what’s left so we can start all over again collecting for the next sale.”

Proceeds from the annual sales go toward the different projects supported by the Friends group. The Friends provide funding for the children’s programming and young adult programming at the library, and they have paid for the purchase of magazines and newspapers, as well as computer software and the self-checkout unit.

In the community, the group provides for the presentations offered as Brown Bag Briefings, operates a used book store staffed by volunteers and organizes programs that bring authors to visit locally.

Additionally, the Friends provided free books to travelers who used the Fort Dodge airport and even provide a book and carrying bag to new mothers at Trinity Regional Medical Center to encourage parents to read to their children.