Friends of JMRL is back at Albemarle Square Mall for another book sale

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (WVIR) – If you’re looking for a new read, you’re in luck. The Friends of Jefferson Madison Regional Library Book Sale is back, but it’s still different from previous years.

This book sale has been around for over fifty years. The last two sales were at the Albemarle Square shopping center, instead of the usual Gordon Avenue library. But, it still draws the same crowds.

“The quality of the books, the condition of the books, the quantity of books, that’s why people come from far away,” said Peter Manno, director of Friends of JMRL. “People plan their vacations around this.”

Guillot says he went to AVU for his undergraduate and graduate degrees and has been going into sales since his graduate years. He is a writer, also identifies as a book appreciator now.

“I remember one time I was in England and I took a break from my semester at Cambridge to come back here to sell books,” Guillot said. “I have been in sales since 1974.

John is also a merchant: someone who buys the books cheaply on sale, then profits later.

“These are regular people that we see at every sale,” Manno said. “So they’re more aggressive than a normal person just looking for that book they want to read. And these people are trying to swallow something that they can sell.

However, not everyone who comes for sale is looking for collectibles. In July, it was actually planned to avoid this. The sale usually takes place in the spring and fall, but Friends of JMRL held a spontaneous sale in the summer to make up for funds missed at the start of the pandemic.

“It was a trial for us, just to see if we could pull it off,” Manno said. “We designed it so that it wasn’t that attractive to dealerships so that it wasn’t a block full of people going crazy.”

They thought avoiding this madness would be safer, in terms of COVID. It also meant changing the location of the Albemarle Square shopping center. The staff decided to keep this place this time around as well.

“We ditched the Gordon Avenue plan and came back here where there is a lot of space,” Manno said. “We can easily have 120 people here, people are not overcrowded. But we thought we really needed to have at least one mask warrant. “

This sale is larger than the previous one and is closer to the traditional look.

“We thought we could do more, and that’s probably 30% more tables, a lot more shelving,” Manno said. “That’s about three-quarters of what we would normally be able to do on Gordon Avenue.”

The sale continues until October 10, from 10 to 7 every day. The staff are also restocking daily, so there are new books and full tables every second. On October 9 and 10, all books will be half price. The money goes to all Jefferson Madison Regional Libraries, to help fund their activities and events.

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