Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Semi-Annual Sale Approaching

The Semi-Annual Book Sale is approaching quickly, so we'll revisit some of the FAQ's.


The Friends of Reston Regional Library welcome all of you to the sale.  Our goal is for EVERYONE to enjoy the sale and to have a fair chance to find what they want. To that end, we have a few rules, which if everyone can follow them, will help all of us.

Why do you have so many more fiction than non-fiction books?

We don't!  Yes, adult fiction is the largest single subject category at the semi-annual sales.... as measured by "volume" (cubic feet!).  However, when all fiction is toted up (fiction plus sci fi plus romance plus lit, etc.), the total number of boxes is well below half.  So therefore all non-fiction (history, self help, cooking, religion, etc.) is clearly well above half.

But what the Friends have sorted through and stashed in our storage shed isn't the whole story either.  The way that the Friends have allocated selling square footage in the building (the two rows of fiction tables, plus the zones for sci fi, romance, lit) confirms that fiction again represents well below half of what's allocated. . . and what happy shoppers get to browse through at any given time during the sale itself.

What forms of payment do you take?

Cash and checks with valid information and phone number.  If you’ve written us a bad check in the past, cash only.

What are the rules for dealers/high volume buyers?

Second, no pushing, shoving, cursing, or behaving in a way that would have made your mama mad if you'd done it when you were five years old. We're all adults, and we all deserve a chance to shop in a non-hostile environment.

What is hoarding?

That's when someone takes a whole bunch of books from a table or area, keeps them from other buyers, and then goes through them slowly, rejecting and often not returning their rejects. This is rude and violates the spirit of the book sale. SO...if you take a book off a table we will presume that you are buying it.

a)     No bulk buying allowed until Sunday at 2pm. That means no sweeping of books from the tables into plastic bags. Throughout the sale we allow you to buy as many TOTAL boxes (standard size/postal size) as you wish.  However, each time you accrue 6 boxes, we ask that you check out and take them to your car; and return as time permits.  We are very short on space, so if you can get your books out to your vehicle in chunks, it lessens the chance another patron will not recognize them as ‘taken’ or even ‘sold’ and start going through them.

Do you allow scanners?

Scanners are allowed on the main floor as long as one abides by the rules and behaves in an orderly fashion. We will ask people who cannot behave in an orderly manner to leave.  Should the use of scanners cause a disruption, we will ask you to put them away. We ask that you mind your manners – do not snatch books out of people's hands.

NOTE: Scanners are NOT allowed in the Specials Room

NOTE: Scanner are NOT permitted in the Media area (cd's, tapes, etc). This area is too crowded and numerous complaints about the behavior of those using scanners in this area have prompted this move.

What is the Specials Room?

This is the small room where we have located higher value books ($5 and up – the vast majority $7 and under). ON FRIENDS NIGHT (Sep 22), patrons may select up to 40 items at a time, have them processed, paid for, and taken to their car, and then return and repeat as often as needed throughout preview night.  Due to the small space, patrons will be asked to leave other boxes, bags and books outside the Specials Room throughout the sale. 

What are some typical books located in the Specials Room?

You can see a selection of the books offered by viewing our Toplist which will be posted by the end of this week.  This list is just a drop in the bucket of what we have there.

Why do you take so much information when I’ve selected Specials Room books?

We do it because it clearly helps us to run a better sale for the shopper, not just at this sale but future ones as well.  By knowing that a particular scarce item has sold already, the less likely we'll be to keep looking for it when another customer asks about it later!  More importantly, we learn about what subject categories are most sought after by our patrons.  And of course, that contact info routinely allows us to contact a buyer who's forgotten to pick up the precious bag of selections at checkout time (unfortunately happens every sale, and multiple times, too)

Will there be children's books at these sales?

No, last year we decided to separate the Childrens & Young Adults books from the Semi-Annual Book Sale and hold a specific sale for those items about a month before the Semi-Annual Sale. We just ran it again in August and it was more successful than ever. So there will be NO children's books at this sale, except for collectibles that might be in the specials room.

MORE FAQ's tomorrow!

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