"I like to work the book sale. I like to be around books. I like to see that we are doing something to support the library."
"I would like to find a way to attract more local people. That's why I'm here on Thursdays," said Janet Hermann, president of the Friends of the Dimmick Memorial Library.
Every Saturday, and on Sundays on festival weekends, from noon to 4 p.m., the Friends Annex of the Dimmick Memorial Library, two doors over at 58 Broadway displays its "Book Sale Today" sign on the porch of its quaint Victorian homestead.
The Friends of the Dimmick Memorial Library book sale and the building, a Millionaire's Row 1889 residence of Asa Packer Blakslee and Louisa Foster Sayre, has been undergoing the restoration since it was purchased by the Dimmick Library in 2002. Its green-, mauve- and cream-painted porch with latticed gingerbread and lathe-turned columns and balustrades fronting the red brick building welcomes guests, and has become a popular stop for tourists in the Historic District of Jim Thorpe.
"We are also open on the first Thursday of every month from 3 to 7 p.m.," Hermann said. "That's for locals who would rather avoid the downtown on the weekends because it is crowded and parking is sometimes difficult."
She encourages people in Jim Thorpe and the surrounding communities to see the book sale as a place for a community conversation-where people can meet and chat and find a good book.
It's a place where people can help out in the community, and the Friends is a place where new arrivals to the community can make friends and learn about the community. Those interested in becoming part of the Friends are encouraged to let someone know either at the Dimmick Memorial Library or at a book sale.
"It's a way of being involved in something in town that's friendly and gets you involved in the library, and let's you be a part of the town," said Hermann. "It's a good place to get started for some of the people who live outside of the town don't often come into town."
The book sale is a great place to get book bargains. "Pricewise, this would be everybody's dream, everybody's favorite bookstore if they knew about it," Hermann said. "The prices so much cheaper than even at used book stores. They are priced to move."
The books are priced to move because the book sale sells the books that the Dimmick Memorial Library no longer has space to stock. Every month, the library receives hundreds of donated books and has limited shelf space. So they keep the latest and greatest, and all others, including duplicates of the latest and greatest, are available as one-of-a-kind, first-come first-served editions at the book sale.
It's mostly tourists in the historic district that chance upon the "Book Sale Today" sign and wander in to look around.
"A typical patron buys a couple of books," Herman explained. "Some people get all excited about the selection and the pricing and they leave with stacks of books. People come from Harrisburg, Scranton, Philadelphia, and often from New York and New York and New Jersey. We are thinking of putting a map up and putting pins in for where people were coming from."
Mysteries are the most popular-then comes relatively new popular fiction, which is followed by the older books of the 1920s and 30s, and the classics. "A lot of people come in to buy children's books which are remarkably cheap, ten cents or a quarter, maybe fifty cents."
"Everybody loves the building," Hermann explained. "We talk about the building. They ask about the historic photographs on the wall. We talk about the library and supporting the library. Sometimes we even talk about the books."
Love Books? Love People? Be a Friend. Come to the book sale every Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., and on the special hours for locals-the first Thursday of every month from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Friends Annex of the Dimmick Memorial Library 58 Broadway. While you are there, ask to become a Friend.