The Book Fair’s Back, Baby!

Table of books.

Do you like books? I love books! And I love the library. One of my most favorite events, that I look forward to all year, is the St. Charles City-County Library Book Fair. Last year, well, you know what happened. But, this year, well, it was like the commercial says, hugs will be sweeter, hot dogs will taste better, or whatever they say, being able to attend the Book Fair this year was almost like the school picnic day when I was a kid. I could hardly sleep the night before!

I generally like to borrow books from the library. It’s free, and heaven knows, we don’t need more clutter. However, I just can’t resist the book fair. Why should I?

Now that we are retired, Dan and I volunteer for one three-hour shift on the first day of the fair. We request sitting down positions. While we are good people, our reasons for volunteering at the book fair are not that altruistic. If you volunteer, you get a free bag of books! Sign me up, baby!

The Book Fair is held at
The St. Charles Family Arena

The bag they give you for the free bag-o-books is just one of those plastic bags you get at the grocery store. But! If you purchase a $3 “Friends of the Library” reusable bag, you can fill that instead. This bag holds more books, and the way I pack them in, the $3 is just a tiny investment. The return on investment is in the hundreds of percent! I should be so lucky with the stock market.

After our three hour shift, we spent two hours making our selections. It’s kind of interesting to me. In the past, I’ve selected cooking books, craft books, decorating books, books about health, books about travel, and who knows what else. I was going to do everything from making cake pops that look like ducks to making stained glass and sock puppets and then turning all kinds of trash into treasure. I almost felt I was starting a whole new life when I left the book fair those years. Now, in fairness, I did do some of those things.

But this year, I chose mostly fiction. If I saw a favorite author and couldn’t remember having read it, in the bag it went. I also picked up a copy of “The Diary of Anne Frank” and a book with Harry Truman’s letters to Bess. I did pick up a copy of “The Mayo Clinic Diet”, but back on the table it went. I did find five empty journals. Can I say I’m grateful for my gratitude journals?

The book fair sells everything from puzzles to cake pans to DVDs and CDs. Even the old albums and VHS tapes were out for sale. I think there were some video game cartridges, too. Every bookworm in town comes out of the woodwork, along with those who want to make a buck reselling online their found classics. Teachers fill their classrooms shelves, and families come through the line with kids carrying their selected treasures. What better way to encourage curiosity, reading, and learning?

After our big day, we went home, happy and hungry. We ordered Jimmie Johns to be delivered. The recliner and I were good friends that night. It wasn’t the school picnic, but it sure was a good day. Do you like book fairs?

Dan carrying our two bags of books to the car.
Thank you, Dan!


    • The final day of the sale you can fill a bag for $5. I believe not for profit organizations can have books for free on the last day. I saw some pretty cool items get sold during our shift. Lots of people commented how much they missed the book fair last year. Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love books, always have, always will. I listen to audio books, I have a kindle, but couldn’t not live without the books on my nightstand, or the books in the bookshelf. The real thing is just that, the real thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just never have converted over to the kindle world. But I can see the appeal, especially for big, heavy books – since I often read in bed. Thanks for reading and your comment. Enjoy your day!


  2. What a fantastic event. A big shout out to the two of you for your volunteer service. Unfortunately, there is only so much room in a rig, definitely not enough for all the books that I would like. So, for me the answer is. We always look for and are thrilled when we find a book swap library at a park we are staying at. And I’ve gone to a Kindle. Granted, not quite the same as a real book but it is a great way to read a lot of books without having to find room for then all. Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I love those free book swaps at the campgrounds. Or in other locations. We have two in our neighborhood. There is one in Pentwater. And I seen them at most of the campgrounds we visit. When we are done with our books we either donate them to Goodwill or put them in the free little libraries. I make sure I put quality books in the free little libraries, meaning books I really like. Thanks for reading, and have a great week ahead.


  3. I love books! I’m an avid reader. (Heck, I even write books as Isabella Norse.) I didn’t think it would ever happen but I have converted almost 100% to e-books. The local Friends of the Library has an annual used book sale much like the one you described. My mama was responsible for my love of reading and the Friends of the Library sale was always one of the highlights of her year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, this event is a “Friends of the Library” event. I did not realize you wrote books as Isabella Norse! That is great! I am not surprised as your posts are well written and interesting. My grandma was a voracious reader. I remember her saying (in her later years) she could go anywhere . . . in a book! Thanks for reading, and have a good week!


    • It sure was! Some people use carts or wagons or milk crates on wheels to carry their books. The prices are so cheap (all kids and teens are fifty cents each), it is easy to get a ton of books for not much money. I liked seeing families come through the line with the kids holding their selections. I could see you and your family doing that! 🙂 Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never been to a book fair. I love reading. In recent years, I’ve switched to e-books to free up living space. To me, reading is reading, so a hard copy of a book isn’t a big deal. I know reading purists though, who love the comfort and familiarity of a paper book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. Reading is reading. I can see the appeal of e-readers, but I haven’t felt the need to make the switch yet. We donate most of the books when we are done reading – either to Goodwill or a free little library. I love the diversity of people who attend book fairs – all ages, all walks of life. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh yes, I love the local school district’s PTA sponsored book fair every spring! It is in the district’s gymnasium, conveniently located about 1 minute from my house. It is fun to shop, but can be overwhelming. On Sunday they have a similar pack-the-bag offer, but I usually go in the opening hours on Friday afternoon and am fully stocked and don’t return. The first time I went I couldn’t figure out why people were bringing in boxes and carts until I saw them going out the door fully loaded!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can be overwhelming! There (after Covid) should be a resting area where snacks are for sale! We like to go the first day, too. Fortunately, there are a few chairs where Dan can sit while I finish my selections. Thanks for reading and your comment. Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • One year I took my oldest grandson after I picked him up after school. He looked around a little and then found me and asked me for money for the Coke and snack vending machines. I complied and then he disappeared. I was ready to go and couldn’t find him anywhere. I texted him as to where he was and he responded, look up. He was sitting at the top of the gymn bleachers watching me. Only a kid would do that!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love to read . These days most of what I read comes from my iPad and not a book. I could blame our small space in the camper but the trend started before that. I like holding a book but I love being able to increase the size of the font for these old eyes. I’ve made some book purchases recently, all are history books that coincides with our travels. Maybe I’ll look for a book fair on our travels. Have a good day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most of the books I read have the large print. It’s probably only a matter of time before I am assimilated into the e-book folks. I did pick up a Guide to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons book while at the fair. It was fifty cents. I will likely leave it there when we visit – if I can find a book exchange. Thanks for reading. Enjoy your day, and safe travels!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVE books. I love the library, book fairs and books stores. I’ll take books anywhere I can find them. My husband knows if we go into a book store I will come out with at least one book. A lot of women say they need large closets for their shoes and clothes. Not me. One small closet will do for my clothes – but I need lots and lots of book cases for all my books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice to see you again! Yes, I love books, too. I like the prices at the book fairs! I remember a story my Grandma told me. When she was growing up (she was born in 1898), her mother told her, “You will get one gift for Christmas. What do you want?” My Grandma’s quick response was, “A book.” Thanks for reading and your comment. Hope you are doing well. Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

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