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Bookfair for a cause

By Joe Carriere
On November 17, 2011

DAYTON, Ohio — Remember those reading incentive programs in elementary school where you got a free personal pan pizza for reaching a reading goal? Now

that you're in college and you can buy your own pizza, you probably need new motivation to read. Since, now that you're in college, you also have greater control over your finances— finding great deals on things is a motivator in itself. Used books sales, then, are a great place to find books that you actually want to read for prices that

you actually don't mind paying. One of the best used book

sales in the Southwest Ohio region is the Friends of Planned Parenthood book fair, which took place last weekend for its 41st year at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds Coliseum in Dayton. As you might have guessed, this book fair is a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood with proceeds coming from the sales of

thousands of donated books. I first heard of the book fair last year, and regardless of where the proceeds were going, I was excited to check it out purely because, as

a poor college student who likes to read, I wanted to buy a lot of books for cheap. I did so well— more than 30 books for $5—that I knew I would go back this year, and though this piece is being published too late for those of you who would've gone this year, it's always good to know where to

find cheap books. If you've seen Disney's Beauty and the Beast, you probably remember when Belle first sees the

library and is amazed by the sheer volume of books on the shelves. Walking into this book fair can stir a similar (if less colorful and musical) excitement, as you encounter

more than 50 tables full of books filling the high-ceilinged space. Signs designate the subject or genre of books at each table, ranging from mystery to history, poetry to philosophy, economics to cooking, science fiction to literary classics and much more. Music enthusiasts can also have a field day surveying records, CDs and even cassettes (hopefully you still have your Walkman). The shopping carts in the front are a necessity because it's very likely that you'll find more interesting things than you'll be able to comfortably carry under your arm. In a way, the book fair encourages procrastination because it gets cheaper with each day that passes. Admission is charged on Friday, so eager book-seekers can pay to get the first look at all of the

offerings before the cheapskates (a.k.a. the majority of people who go to used book sales) flood the place.

Saturday is free, and though the selections have been picked over a bit, there are still plenty of great reads to find. I went on Saturday this year and had to leave some good-looking books behind because I found so many.

Sunday is the bag sale, where you can buy as many books as you can fit into a brown paper grocery bag for $5 per bag. I went on Sunday last year, and though the tables were no longer fully covered, I still brought home an impressive pile of books for less than I would've spent on a Spicy Chicken Sandwich meal at Wendy's. Sunday is also a good option for those of you who are antiabortion because you can get a lot of cool books for less than it costs Planned Parenthood to ship a box of pamphlets to one of their locations. This book fair is perfect for any reader, whether you want to get back into reading but don't have anything good to read, to get a book that interests you but doesn't seem worth the full price, to get cheap holiday gifts for the

readers in your family or just to expand your collection.

Again, I apologize that this article is being published too late

for those of you who would've liked to check out the book fair

this year, but you can always do what low-budget readers do during the roughly 360 days before next year's book fair: browse the discount racks at Joseph Beth, check out Half Price Books, look for other used book sales and go the public library like you used to as a kid. Heck, go buy yourself a pizza on your way back from the bookstore.


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