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Thousands of books to browse at library sale

Shoppers browse tables of books at the Osterhout Free Library's annual book sale.
Sarah Scinto
Shoppers browse tables of books at the Osterhout Free Library's annual book sale.

Tom McCabe knows exactly what he’s looking for under the tent at the Osterhout Free Library’s annual book sale.

“Biographies from some of the writers that I’ve read, so I can go back and see how their fiction came about,” he said while picking through the biography section at the sale this week. “You start with the biographies and then you work over to the fiction, find more fiction, and you come back for more biographies. It's a vicious cycle.”

Suzanna McCabe on the other hand, was just looking for:

“Treasures,” she said, clutching a stack of fiction novels she’d already plucked from the tables. “Just looking to find something that strikes me. I just love books.”

This is the 45th year the Friends of the Osterhout Free Library have set up their tent in downtown Wilkes-Barre to sell boxes upon boxes of donated books to benefit the library.

The sale lasts for a week, and sale co-chair Cynthia Baggot says some people show up every day to browse the long tables of books, DVDs and games.

“They’ll come and they’ll do one section,” she said. “Then come back the next day and do another section.”

Linda Kubiak, another co-chair for the sale, says they sold $27,000 worth of books last year and this year, they’ll rotate around 25,000 books into the tent for sale.

“As we sell down, we’ll fill up with other ones,” she said.

The book sale continues until Saturday, June 17, when Kubiak says it might get crowded for one of the sale’s most popular specials - that’s when visitors can pay $5 for a bag or $10 for a box to fill with as many books as possible.

“You can get at least 35 books into those boxes,” she said. “It’s a good deal.”

Sarah Scinto is the local host of All Things Considered on WVIA. She is a Connecticut native and graduate of King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, and has previously covered Northeastern Pennsylvania for The Scranton Times-Tribune, The Citizens’ Voice and Greater Pittston Progress.