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Lions annual book sale kicks off next Wednesday

  • The Charles City Lions Club is preparing for its annual book sale, which takes place Oct. 14-24 at the east entrance of Ace Hardware in Charles City, at 300 Gilbert St. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Old historic newspapers and vintage magazines will be something new this year at the Charles City Lions Club’s annual book sale, which takes place Oct. 14-24 at the east entrance of Ace Hardware in Charles City, at 300 Gilbert St. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Linda Wolff of Charles City drops off some books for Doug Sinclair to sort through for the Charles City Lions Club’s annual book sale, which takes place Oct. 14-24 at the east entrance of Ace Hardware in Charles City, at 300 Gilbert St. (Press photo James Grob.)

By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

The books have been pouring in, sometimes by the trailer load.

Enough books to make Esther Horvath “work her tail off,” according to Charles City Lions Club member Doug Sinclair.

“I don’t know how we’d do this without her help,” Sinclair said. “We wouldn’t probably know what we’re doing without her.”

Horvath manages the Lions Club’s annual book sale, which runs Oct. 14-24 at the east entrance of Ace Hardware in Charles City, at 300 Gilbert St.

The book sale has been going on since 1964 and Horvath has managed the sale for the Lions for about 12 years. Sinclair said that this year Horvath has found some rare books, including some novels signed by authors that have more value.

Prices for the rest of the books range from 50 cents to about $4, and all proceeds will benefit local charities and projects. Donations can be dropped off in Charles City prior to the sale at Otto’s Oasis, all Charles City banks, HyVee, Theisens, Ace Hardware and Fareway. The Lions Club will also be accepting donations at the site during the sale.

Sinclair said that there will be more than 20,000 books available this year, down from last year, when that number was 40,000. Last year the sale brought nearly $10,000 to the Lions Club. The sale usually raises about $4,000-$5,000 each year, and proceeds go back to the community through Lions projects.

Among many other things, the club subsidizes hearing aids and eyeglasses for residents and children in the community, conducts free vision tests on preschoolers, and recycles about 800 eyeglasses a year which are sent abroad through Lions Club International.

Sinclair said that this year the sale will include old newspapers and vintage magazines. He said he wonders if collectors might be interested in some of the “fanzine” collections such as Star Wars and Louis L’Amour, as well as newspapers and periodicals that mark certain historical events, such as the U.S. bicentennial, the moon landing and Nixon’s resignation.

The Lions also received a donation of some New York Herald newspapers from the 1860s, published before, during and after the Civil War. Sinclair said that some of the publications contain maps and descriptions of Civil War battles.

“We have no idea if there is any kind of value to them, but we’re going to offer them up and see what kind of interest they get,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve had anything like this.”

As always, the sale will include a large supply of children’s books, Sinclair said. There are also foreign language books, travel books, religious books, books in large font for those with vision issues, children’s books, teen and young adult books, romance and inspirational romance, history, mystery and military books.

The sale includes books about sports, science fiction, thrillers, agricultural books, animal husbandry books, westerns, home improvement, arts and crafts, music, sheet music, humor and poetry. There are even books on learning how to play card games.

Also included are vinyl records, CDs, DVDs and video tapes.

Times of the sale Wednesday-Friday, Oct.14-16, will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday Oct. 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Then, Monday through Friday, Oct. 18-23, from 2-6 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. until noon.

Sinclair said that the Lions would prefer that those who come to the sale wear masks and keep a safe social distance from the other customers.

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