By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
MILLERSBURG — Donald Smith, of the Millersburg Historical Society, is up to his eyes in books these days.
It happens every year about this time, just before the society’s annual book sale, on tap from 9 a.m. to about 2 p.m. Saturday. Not a collector himself, except when it comes to military memorabilia, he has been wading through stacks of donated books, classifying them and then putting them on bookshelves in their proper categories.
“I’m still picking up 30 bags of books later this week,” he said Monday. “Many more will likely come in by Saturday, and even then, it seems like as many books come in on the day of the sale as are sold.”
There are more than 3,000 hardbacks and paperbacks on shelves in the basement of the historical society building, in the 300 block of Center Street. Genres include cookbooks, romance, science fiction, war and military, biographies, autobiographies, travel, kids’ books, self-help and religious. There also are a limited number of CDs and movies for sale.
The sections are broken down by categories to make browsing easier, Smith said. “But it seems like military-related books are very popular, next to romance, of course.”
Last year, the society made about $300. This year, pending good weather, “We should do well,” he said. “If the weather is bad, if it snows, we don’t do as well, but I think that the forecast is pretty positive for this coming weekend.”
Smith said the sale has become a social meeting spot for book lovers.
“People come in and leave with bags of books,” he said. “They’ll stop when they see a friend, talk about books they’ve bought, trade books even, talk about new books. It’s pretty interesting to watch.”
Smith likes to tell the story of a woman who came to the sale in search of a specific religious book, which she hadn’t seen since she was a kid.
“So she comes to the sale,” Smith said. “And she must have spent two hours browsing our religious section. All of a sudden, I heard a loud ‘Hallelujah, I found it.’ That kind of reaction is very gratifying, and it’s what our sale is all about. Finding old treasure and new on the bookshelves.”
The point is, he said, “There is something here that will interest everyone.”
Hardcover books are 50 cents, paperbacks, 25 cents.