So here we are, back at mid-summer, although it’s one the likes of which we’ve never before seen. For many of us, one of the highlights of this time of year is the huge annual book sale at the Dyer Library. All year long (up until mid-March, anyway) we received loads of donations of gently read books, and all that time, we were also weeding our shelves of materials that were no longer circulating at a good pace. All of those were carried up to the library attic, which surely began to sag a bit under the heavy load. Every summer we carry them all downstairs and volunteers help us lay them out — magnificently sorted by a single volunteer— — on long tables, all set for your shopping pleasure.

Wait! What are we going to do this strange summer? The book sale is an important fundraiser for this nonprofit that both operates your busy public library and our vibrant museum. We had to skip the yard sale, our June fundraiser, and the Festival of Trees, next Christmas season, is surely also going to look a lot different, although we will carry on with it. Those changes have made the funds generated by the book sale hard to do without. So … here is your annual book sale — with the COVID changes necessity demands.

During the early days of the book sale, you are welcome to come and shop but you may do so by appointment only. It’s the truth. Please call and schedule your 30 minute time slot. The shopping will be limited to only you and 11 others, and all of you will be wearing masks, of course. And you will have sanitized your hands when you came in the door. By allowing only 12 shoppers at a time, we will be able to ensure the social distancing that is so important right now.

Prices are just the same as last year. All hardcover and large sized paperbacks, DVDs (of which there are a huge collection) and audiobooks are just $1.50 each. Mass market paperbacks are $1. Children’s hardcovers are $1 and paperbacks are just 50 cents each. Videotapes, cassettes and music CDs are also 50 cents. None of us know what the fall and winter will bring. If we are so unfortunate as to experience another surge of the pandemic, then libraries may be forced to close again. If that happens, you’ll be glad that you stocked up this summer. Since we are currently unable to host any meetings or “live” children’s programs here, the meeting rooms are not needed so the book sale will remain up, quite likely through the fall and into winter. As soon as interest dies down, presumably in a week or so, appointments will no longer be needed. Please call 283-3861 for more information.

One last thing: After months of planning and work, the new exhibition at the Saco Museum, “I Have Always Found Pleasure in Painting: Gibeon Elden Bradbury (1833-1904)” opened on Saturday, July 18. It features more than 80 paintings, studies, and sketches by iconic Maine artist Gibeon Bradbury that capture the quiet beauty of the Saco River Valley during the late 19th century. Come for a visit.

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