Rotary Used Book Sale at Degroot's Nurseries. January 20, 2024. (Photo by Natalia Vega)Rotary Used Book Sale at Degroot's Nurseries. January 20, 2024. (Photo by Natalia Vega)

Used book sale diverts thousands from landfill

Over 20,000 books were diverted from the landfill as a result of the Sarnia-Bluewaterland Rotary Used Book Sale this year.

Co-Chair Dale Wilcox said they "had more books than they knew what to do with" and "the sales were excellent."

"We were concerned about going to a new location, but the Degroot Nursery turned out to be just excellent," said Wilcox. "People seemed to really enjoy the fact that they were walking into a greenhouse, laden with books, and we had a very eclectic group of books this year."

She said they had all bases covered, from science fiction, to gardening, to military and one of the largest selections of art books ever.

"There was a local person who donated well over 2,500 books," said Wilcox. "They were in great condition and so we were happy to have people like the St. Lawrence Art Centre come and partake of our bargains. There were a lot of other local people, who enjoy expensive art books, that were able to pick out some for $5."

A 58 book series of The Hardy Boys detective books was sold for $200 in an auction, Wilcox said.

Unsold books were offered to little libraries, second hand stores, clubs, and a program being organized by the Grand Bend Rotary Club.

"Every two years, they send a sea-can of materials, books and equipment to South Africa," Wilcox said. "So they came and filled up two trucks and a van and took away books that were appropriate for the schools, churches and senior residents that they supply books to."

While she didn't disclose the total amount of money raised, she said sales were higher than 2023.

"We had set a new goal this year, and that was 'how many books could we keep out of the landfill.' Because that's really part of the reason why we do the book sale and this year we set a goal of 20,000 books. As it turned out, I am certain we sold and kept 20,000 books out of the landfill."

Wilcox said the funds raised will form the core part of this spring's community grant program.

"Applications are available for those grants on our website," she said.

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