The Friends of the Priestley-Forsyth Public Library's 8th annual book sale kicks off today at St. John's Lutheran Church, Third and Queen Streets, Northumberland, with early birds welcome to pay $10 and come in at 10 a.m, a two-hour jump on the regular hours of noon to 7 pm.

The sale, which offers about 5,000 books, raised more than $3,000 last year, and is one of the major fundraisers for the library, said Nancy Hartman, of the Friends.

Helping to haul in the books and organize them, Hartman said, "were honor society students from Sunbury Middle School and Scouts from the troop at Christ United Methodist Church. They and some adults helped set up everything on Tuesday night. They were amazingly helpful.

"We have tons of fiction and children’s books," she said. "Also some interesting coffee table books, some military history. Some Amish."

Librarian director John Johnstonbaugh noted that the sale essentially "fills in the gaps, when something needs to be done that isn't covered by grants. For example, our kitchen needed work and the monies raised by the book sale, and the Friends of the Library helped with that. So it plays a key role for us.

"The book sale is definitely one of the more important fundraisers we have, and it is also a way to offer up good books to the public, which is always a good thing," he said. 

Hours today are noon to 7. Friday, 12-7 p.m. and Sat., 8-11 a.m. Costs are $20 a bag or $2 for a hardback, $1 for paperbacks.

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