Provo City Library sells books for $1 at Ballroom Book Sale

Rows of books fill the Provo City Library’s ballroom for the Ballroom Book Sale. The book sale was held on Jan. 26. (McKenna Jensen)

People gathered at the Provo City Library’s Ballroom Book Sale on Jan. 26, hauling as many used, one-dollar books as they could carry.

Provo City Library Director Carla Gordon said the first book sale was held as a fundraiser to bring “The Book Thief” author, Marcus Zusak, to the library.  

“We successfully achieved that goal,” Gordon said.

Now, the library holds a used book sale two to four times a year to declutter surplus books, raise funds for library programming and get books into the homes of community members, according to Gordon.

Erika Hill, Provo City Library community relations manager, said the process of collecting and setting up for the used book sale is ongoing since they are always assessing their collection. The diverse selection also includes books donated by community members.

“Some books are brand new, some are historic gems (and) some are in a condition that we call ‘pre-loved,’ which is a nice way of saying they’ve seen better days,” Hill said.

The Provo City Library’s book sale filled its ballroom with rows of books, placing them in four categories: children’s items, adult/young-adult fiction and non-fiction, and audiovisual material.

BYU student Adam Jewell took advantage of the one-dollar book deals during the used book sale.

“It’s a chance to acquire books I wouldn’t normally afford. It’s that thrift store feel — spotting something I’ve been after and grabbing it quickly. It’s fun.” Jewell said.

With hundreds of books sourced from the library’s collection and generous donations, the used book sale becomes a treasure hunt for avid readers, Gordon said.

“It’s just a treasure hunt and everyone’s definition of ‘treasure’ is a little different. Book enthusiasts will be hard-pressed not to find something exciting in our book sales,” Gordon said.

The Ballroom Book Sale is one of many events held at the library each year. Those interested to know about upcoming events can sign up for the Provo City Library’s newsletter and follow its accounts on social media, Hill said.

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