Ava Skonecki, 2, left, and her brother Arik, 3, were excited about the comic books they got yesterday at the Friends of the Library of Hawaii's 56th annual book sale at the McKinley High School cafeteria. Their parents, Lisa and Patrick Skonecki, had a box full of other comics and books.

Hundreds crowd 1st day
of annual book bazaar

People started lining up at 7:30 a.m.
for the sale at McKinley High

More than 900 bargain- and book lovers swarmed into McKinley High School's cafeteria yesterday within the first 90 minutes of the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale.

They brought suitcases, duffel bags, laundry baskets, carts, empty boxes and even garbage cans to hold all the bargain books they were about to buy.

A long line wrapped around the building hours before the sale opened at 10 a.m. The first people in line began waiting at 7:30 a.m.

"I've got to get to the books before everyone else does," said early bird Albert Mackey.

Last year, Mackey bought more than 60 books. This year, he brought a cart to carry his books home.

While some scavenged and scooped up books by the dozens, others came in search of specific items.

Fred Harris of Makiki hunted for rare, red leather-bound books published by The Franklin Library. His search for this collector's item was unsuccessful yesterday, but "I'll be back tomorrow for sure," he said.

"It's really just like a treasure field," said Caroline Bond, the director of the book sale. "You have to dig through the boxes to find a treasure."

With about 105,000 books and thousands of CDs, videos and magazines for sale, volunteers are constantly replenishing the merchandise on the tables. Within the first few hours, over 100 boxes of books were brought out, Bond said.

The Friends raised $131,000 last year -- their best ever since the sale started 56 years ago. "We hope to match that amount, if not exceed it," Bond said. This year's proceeds will be distributed to 51 libraries and used for books, equipment, performance programs and education grants.

The sale will run through July 19 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The last day of the sale will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

First-time customer Kara Anderson biked to the book sale with her husband. She said she decided to attend this year because "it's time to turn off the TV and start reading."


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