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Book sale offers a familiar tradition in strange times

Tables filled with books were spread across the lawn of the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library on Saturday for a Home School Book Sale. At the event, young children in facemasks flipped through colorful pages, parents scoured the tables for educational materials and book lovers browsed the used book selection.

Book sales hosted by the Friends of the Library are a bi-annual tradition used to raise funds to buy new books for the library, which does not have a budget for buying new books. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic the usual spring sale was canceled. After some consideration, the Friends of the Library elected to hold several smaller themed book sales to ensure they could still fundraise for the library without drawing such a large group of people together during the pandemic.

For the first themed sale, the Friends of the Library selected books that might be helpful for home schooling and back to school since interest in home schooling has increased due to the pandemic.

Roxie Larson is one mom who has decided to home school her children because of the virus. She came to the sale looking for books that might help her home school her two older children who are entering seventh grade and tenth grade. Her first find was promising—a Spanish language book.

Dawn Ladligue is another mom who will be new to home schooling, but she already has two home school curriculums picked out for her 12-year-old son.

“You have to kind of dig and search and kind of find what’s going to fit you,” she said.

Her son’s studies will be focused on math, science, computer programming, Spanish and music, she said.

Ladligue opted to home school her son because she does not want to risk him being exposed to COVID-19 while attending a public school. As a toddler he had an inflammation condition similar to the condition some children are experiencing after getting the virus, she said.

“I’m not taking the risk. I know it may be small but I’m not taking it, because I already spent a month in children’s hospital with him not sure what was going to happen for the first two weeks. It was terrifying. If you could ever avoid that situation you will,” said Ladligue.

Not everyone at the sale was looking for school books. Many book buyers attend the book sales annually and were excited to see what they could find.

“I usually come every year and they have some really awesome books, so I definitely wanted to come to get some for me and my children,” said Jemika Williams.

Myishia Beauregard brought her children to the book sale after learning about it at a school supply giveaway happening across the street. She is also a book sale regular and quickly found a stack of books she was interested in.

“When there’s a book sale, I always show up,” said Mary Hays. A book lover with broad taste in genres, Hays was on the hunt for everything from historical biographies to mystery novels.

For Madeline Hays the book sale was a familiar touchstone before she heads to Kansas for her first semester of college.

“Our college is releasing safety plans of how everything’s going to be different, so it’s just very strange,” said Hays. “Like we have to wear facemasks everywhere on campus and some of our classes are going to be streamed instead of live…, we all recognize this is going to be a really weird year.”

Hays found a copy of The Taming of the Shrew to take with her to Kansas.

The next book sale will be a cookbook sale in September.