Those of us who produce the Journal every day make no demands that you read only the Journal. We expect our readers to look to other sources for news, information and entertainment. And we’re happy to shine a brief spotlight on the 32nd annual used book sale being conducted by the Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston on Thursday and Friday. It will be huge.
For weeks — weeks — teams of volunteers have been sorting and pricing “cookbooks, gardening guides, philosophical tomes, romance novels, medical school textbooks, albums, DVDs and all manner of media that have been donated to the organization over the past year,” the Journal’s Lisa O’Donnell reported on Sunday. Sale organizers say they’ll be offering 150,000 used book in 35 categories — enough to require three 24-foot long trailers to move them from the Shepherd’s Center to the Education Building at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, where the sale will be held. Organizers generally utilize a container pod on their grounds to hold donations — this year, for the first time, they needed a second pod.
“We are totally inundated now. We can’t handle any more large donations right now,” Sam Matthews, the executive director of the Shepherd’s Center, told the Journal.
“You have to love books,” Beth Williams, a volunteer sorter and pricer, said of her work.
We think she’s in the right place.
Some cities don’t even have one bookstore. Winston-Salem supports several, along with a strong public library system, an independent book publisher, Press 53, the Bookmarks book festival, all sorts of writers and too many other friends of the written word to list here. “The City of Arts and Innovation That Reads a Lot” is a bit too unwieldy, but book culture is definitely a part of our identity and we’re all the better for it.
The proceeds from the sale will go to a worthy cause. The Shepherd’s Center, an interfaith ministry, provides services for older adults in Forsyth County — 5,600 of them last year, the Journal reported.
Marie Kondo may disagree, but we’ve long believed that one cannot own too many books. Reading, mastering the written word, is the material key to reaching through time and distance, to increasing intelligence and skill, to a deeper understanding of the world around us. It’s an immensely rewarding wisdom multiplier.
And on Thursday and Friday, it can be had at sale prices.