Cheap books draw big dollar signs for public libraries

Dale Moana Gil-Martin
Dale Moana Gil-Martin
Nobu Kiwada
Nobu Kiwada
Tiffany Rosales
Tiffany Rosales

By Duncan Armstrong

MAKIKI (KHNL) - Sunday marked the last day of an annual book sale which drew thousands of bookworms to McKinley High School over the past week.

There were some great deals on some great reads.

Many spend their time reading online, but the big Oahu sale helped thousands pick up a book again. Ironically, proceeds will also help connect state public libraries to computers and the internet superhighway.

People came for the bargains, $.50 per book for the last 62 years brings priceless worlds of imagination in the form of words in a book.

For Dale Moana Gil-Martin and her two sons, the price is right in this poor economy.

"It helps people who can't go to Barnes and Noble, especially these days, and whip out $25 for one book. You can come here for that amount of money and get 50 books," said Gil-Martin.

The goal of the book fair was to sell about $190,000 worth of books, money that would go straight into the public library system.

"With 51 libraries going thru major budget cuts, they need for us to help them with their computer system. A lot of people go to the library to use the internet and they need $250,000 to upgrade the computer system and a lot of the money from here will be used for that purpose," said Nobu Kiwada, Co-Chair of the book sale, and a member of Friends of the Library.

Tiffany Rosales doesn't mind spending an extra dollar or two to help out the library system. She is due to give birth in August and was looking for something to sooth her nerves.

"Anything that might help me though labor, to help me feel a little more relaxed," said Rosales.

While some scavenged and scooped up books by the dozens, people like Julie Raiaz took the time to see what she could find.

"what caught me was that this is a piece of history. I am going to share this with my children, how valuable this was to somebody way back," said Raiz.

"They've been doing this for six decades and it's 2009. It's wonderful that people still read and will keep reading," she added.

The book sale only keeps about 20% of the books they receive. Organizers are already gearing up for next year's book sale. Planning starts Monday.