Treasure hunting for great reads

Spring Whale of a Used Book Sale kicks off summer with thousands of bargain books

Posted 6/4/19

All the smiles are wonderful. Whether it be an adult who found a book that completes a his or her collection by a certain author, or a little kid who can’t wait to take home their bag full books …

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Treasure hunting for great reads

Spring Whale of a Used Book Sale kicks off summer with thousands of bargain books

Posted

All the smiles are wonderful.

Whether it be an adult who found a book that completes a his or her collection by a certain author, or a little kid who can’t wait to take home their bag full books and start reading.

“This is a great way to kick off summer,” said Kate Borgelt of Golden who was shopping for children’s books with Stone Gillaspie, 5, and Mica Gillaspie, 9.

The Spring Whale of a Used Book Sale took place May 31-June 2 with a Friends Only Preview Night on May 30. The sale is a biannual event put on by the Jefferson County Library Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides funding for the Jefferson County Public Library’s various programs, events and activities that are not covered by taxpayer dollars.

The whale sales are also a “wonderful way to repurpose good books back into the community,” said Jo Schantz, executive director of the Jefferson County Library Foundation.

Though it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact year the whale sales began, Schantz said, they’ve been going for at least 20 years. This year’s spring sale featured 80,000 books, comics, CDs, DVDs and vinyl records spanning 37 different categories to hunt through.

“It’s a treasure hunt here,” said Linda Larson, a member of the Jefferson County Library Foundation who has been volunteering at the whale book sales since 2003.

The entire Logue Family loves to read, said Christine Logue of Aurora, and between all of them, the family ended up purchasing 210 books from the sale on May 31.

Logue is a teacher and next year, she is moving from kindergarten to second grade.

“I’m filling my classroom library,” she said, adding she was also shopping for her twin daughters who will be entering the first grade next year.

Logue’s son Carter, 11, enjoys reading war books and novels about dogs, he said, and that’s what he was seeking out. He has dyslexia, but has been making a lot of progress with his reading, he said.

“Big chapter books are still a struggle,” Carter Logue said, “but I get through it (because) I like reading.”

Greg Morrison of Fort Collins is a math teacher in school in Loveland, but he was shopping for himself on May 31, primarily for science fiction books and movies.

“But there’s a lot of everything (and) great prices,” Morrison said. “This is a great place to find books in good condition for summer reading.”

There are more books than ever this year, said Deborah Deal, a trustee for the Jeffco library’s board, and it’s exciting to be able to keep them out of the landfill and into the hands of readers.

“We’re enabling people to have great books on everything you can imagine,” Deal said. But not only that, she added, “this is an amazing example of Jeffco citizen volunteerism. The people that work this sale come back sale after sale. They’re the most dedicated individuals you can find.”

More than 200 volunteers contributed to the success of this year’s Spring Whale of Used Book Sale. One of them was Tyrenny Hidy, who is in her fourth year of volunteering at both the spring and fall whale book sales.

“I like the customers and I like the diversity of books, Hidy said.

Though she’s been volunteering for four years, Hidy has been a patron of the sales for many years prior — she shopped for books at the whale book sales while attending college at the Colorado School of Mines, and soon after she graduated, she started volunteering.

“I love all the rest of the volunteers,” Hidy said. “It’s like a little Whale Sale family.”

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