More than 20,000 people made their way through the doors of the McKinley High School cafeteria during the Friends of the Library of Hawaii’s 63rd annual book sale, which ended its 10-day run last Sunday.
The event, a fundraiser to support public libraries and literacy programs across the state, brought in an estimated $200,000 from the sale of nearly 150,000 books collected by the Friends over the past year.
"It went really well," said Friends of the Library Executive Director Byrde Cestare. "Everyone was there."
While most books were priced at a few dollars or less, an autographed copy of Queen Liliuokalani’s "Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen" was sold for $3,300 and a set of antique books on the voyages of Captain Cook fetched $2,700. According to Cestare, the books were purchased by a single buyer, an Oahu woman who chooses to remain anonymous.
"The books are staying in Hawaii," Cestare said.
The book sale was organized by the Friends with the support of more than 400 volunteers from community groups and student organizations, including sports teams from Saint Louis, Farrington and McKinley high schools and Hawaii Pacific University. The sale also received more than $21,000 in donations from local businesses, and food donations from Safeway and Zippy’s.
Although the date of next year’s sale will not be set until early next year, preparations are already under way. The Friends are welcoming book donations from the public and keeping an eye out for collectible books to be auctioned off next year.
They will also hold a meeting with volunteers to determine which books are in the greatest demand. While Hawaiiana and art books remained popular sellers this year, Cestare said there was a spike in sales of science fiction and business books.
"We try to see what people bought this year and will try to make changes," she said. "We get better at this every year."