Tempe Library’s April 10 book sale to feature discounted literary treasures

An estimated 5,000 books will be available for purchase at sharply discounted prices 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 10 at Tempe Public Library during the Friends of the Tempe Library’s annual sale.  –Tempe Public Library photo

If Vicki Linoff says she can’t talk because she has her nose in a book, it’s likely not one on this week’s New York Times bestseller list.

There’s a better chance she’s thumbing through a dog-eared copy of The Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World—maybe even For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway’s classic 1941 battle with the censors who banned it for being “pro-Communist.”

No, Linoff ’s reading habits are much tamer. At least those she’s willing to talk about.

Besides, the Tempe librarian has more on her mind these days, namely how to sell the estimated 5,000 books she’s been storing at the Tempe Library since last March.

It comes as no surprise that public gatherings, such as book sales, much like Hemingway’s classic, have been banned for the past year due to COVID-19.

So when Saturday, April 10, rolls around, Linoff expects many of those cooped-up bibliophiles to turn out en masse to buy from the now overflowing stockpile of loved books.

The sale, for which Linoff hopes to see lines snaked around the Tempe Library, marks a return of the Friends of the Tempe Library’s annual disposal of books that have been donated so others can enjoy them at a fraction of the original price.

It’s expected to be an especially enthusiastic crowd: book lovers eager to see what treasures are there — and probably just as happy for an excuse to get outside.

The sale, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., features books from not only the library’s already-sorted stockpile but thousands more, so far uncatalogued, that have been awaiting inventory in a separate huge warehouse that Friends’ organizers will soon be diving into.

The good news is that Linoff and a cadre of volunteers have spent hundreds of hours this past year  making sure that most of the donated literary works have been lovingly dusted off, labeled, catalogued and put on shelves, waiting for the next big sale.

Best of all, dedicated readers who have long awaited the availability of literary favorites know they’ll be able to buy them at greatly reduced cost than they’d pay at a commercial bookstore. For hardbacks, the price is $1 each or six for $5. Softcovers will go for 50 cents.

Linoff advises that for this sale, the onetime bargain-basket deal will not be offered of a single price for all books that can be stuffed into a single bag.

One buyer bought 20 bags full the last time, she said, helping ensure that the warehouse was pretty well cleaned out by day’s end.

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