By MADDY VITALE
Avid readers who enjoy good books in all forms from audio to traditional, from fiction to non-fiction, had plenty of choices at a two-day sale in the Ocean City Free Public Library atrium over the weekend.
Hundreds of newer to even vintage books lined the tables. Customers perused the volumes. Many patrons walked around carrying stacks of books on Saturday as they scanned the boxes filled with more items for sale.
The sale at the library, 1735 Simpson Ave., is sponsored each year by the Friends and Volunteers of the Ocean City Free Public Library, which is the library’s fundraising group that began in 1989. All of the proceeds from the book sales hosted a few times a year benefit the library.
“Yesterday was crazy busy,” Debbie Moreland, co-chair of the book sale for Friends and Volunteers, said Saturday. “It was wonderful. It is also very successful today.”
She continued, “There is a steady flow of people coming in. Everyone has been ecstatic that we were able to hold the sale. This is our first big event since the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This year, Moreland said the goal was to raise approximately $4,000 for literacy programs.
Gwen Zervas, of Washington Crossing, Pa., and her son, Christopher, 11, along with her sister, Lynn McComb, of Washington Township, N.J., stopped by their favorite book sale.
The family, who has a summer home in the resort, never misses the book sale.
“We come every year, except for last year when it was canceled with the pandemic,” explained Zervas.
Both Zervas and her sister had arms filled with books.
Christopher, who said he may consider becoming an architect one day, had a rather eclectic assortment of books that he selected. He chose a home design audio book and a book about North Korea.
Each of the family’s books cost anywhere from a quarter up to $2.
“You can’t beat it. I have children’s books for my grandson and non-fiction books for me and a couple of biographies,” said Betsy Soderberg, of Ambler, Pa. “We have a summer house in Ocean City”
Each year, the Friends and Volunteers host book sales. It is a way to freshen the library’s collection of books and other items, and also gives people the chance to buy books at special, discounted rates.
Despite the book sales being canceled in 2020 with the pandemic, the group still raised funds and was able to purchase items for the library, including a new and much-needed laminator to make banners, Patti Phillips, chair of Friends and Volunteers said.
“All of the money goes into literary programs,” Phillips said.
In addition, the group does an array of different programs, including making up baby bags that they drop off to Shore Medical Center in Somers Point to be given out to new families.
The first day of kindergarten, kids are given bags made up of books, pencils, crayons and other items. And for the older children in middle school, they get to listen to an author give a talk.
“We appreciate the community,” Moreland noted. “People are really generous and it helps us do what we do.”
For more information on future events visit www.friendsvolunteersocfpl.com.