REDDING, Conn. — Mark Twain — or late Redding resident Samuel Clemens, depending on who you ask — would be proud.
The Mark Twain Library — which was founded by Clemens in 1908 — plans to offer more than 60,000 items for sale at its annual book fair, which kicks off Friday at the Redding Community Center on Lonetown Road.
All proceeds from the sale benefit the Mark Twain Library, which is owned by the Mark Twain Library Association.
“The book fair is a large part of our fundraising efforts,” Redding Library Director Beth Dominianni told the Daily Voice on Tuesday.
But this book fair, a fixture in the Redding community, doesn’t happen overnight.
Dominianni said the sale is a year-round effort. Books are collected for months and stored at the transfer station. They are taken to the community center to be unboxed jus before the sale.
“It takes a large army of volunteers,” she said. “We are so grateful for their energy and enthusiasm.”
It takes volunteers about three days to unpack all the books the library has collected, Dominianni said.
Once unpacked, the books are set up inside the air-conditioned Redding Community Center. The only part of the sale that occurs outside are sales of paperback books in one tent, Dominianni said.
“We do a lot of things that other book fairs don’t do,” she said, explaining that volunteers meticulously sort books into categories. “You’re not just walking into a jumble.”
The center was abuzz , Tuesday afternoon as volunteers organized books in the various rooms of the community center, including the gym.
The book fair kicks off Friday at 9 a.m. and runs to 6 p.m. During the first hour, the library is selling $15 tickets for admission, which will be available starting at 7 a.m.
Book dealers have already reserved their spots for opening day. Following Redding tradition, many had written their names on boxes left outside the community center to mark their place in line as of Tuesday afternoon.
Later on opening day — from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Friday — the library will host a special after-school “Children’s Event."
The fair will continue on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday, — “Half-Price Day” — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The fair ends on Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. when items will be sold for $10 a box.
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