Finding Homes for Books in Reno - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Finding Homes for Books in Reno

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In this age of speedy search and deliver, how useful is the presence of physical books? It's something stores and libraries have been adjusting to. There's been quite a cosmic shift over the past 20-30 years. Today, books are no longer the main thing at libraries, which are just giving their customers what they want. As Friends of Washoe County Library president Dan Erwine told us, "They want to use the media, the technology…and that's what our libraries are going to be about. Some of our branches hardly have any books at all anymore. What's going to disappear is the mass-market paperback. That will be replaced by electronic media"

And how does he feel about that? "It makes me crazy.” For volunteer Marsy Kupfersmith, the change makes her sad: “Everybody grew up with books, I mean Dr. Seuss you had all these great books! And it’s just gone. Everything is just technology, or they're reading it on the Kindle.”

These days, too many physical books are unwanted. Dan and Marsy's group manages a store-sized space donated by the library. Its goal is to find homes for tens of thousands of books, magazines, movies and music. They do it with rock-bottom prices: $1 for hardbacks, 50 cents for paperbacks on everything from classics to kids.

They get about 1,000 books a year donated by the library, which is following the trend of offering more knowledge electronically. Books are becoming a surplus item, but they do have their fans. Friends of Washoe County Library volunteer Gretchen Kelly told us, "I probably have 300 or 400 at home that are waiting to be read, so I buy a lot of books."

Friends of Washoe County Library’s book sales are quite frequent, adding up to 54 days a year. They raise a lot of money for the country libraries: $120,000 last year alone, with the money going only for the purchase of new items and improvements.

The sales have been going on for decades and have no signs of stopping…there are too many books that need homes, and as they lose favor more are coming in. Marsy says, “We just get people donating and donating, they just seem to come out of the woodworks." Gretchen added, "It never ends. We've got two storage pods full of boxes of books that we still can't get onto the shelves. And we groan when the doorbell rings and we see a pickup truck full. But we take every book that's offered to us." But as Marcy told us, "As long as we have seniors, I hope books will stick around."

The book sale is going on now through Sunday at Reno Town Mall from 10am-5pm each day.

To see the yearly schedule and find out more about the Friends of Washoe County Library, click the link below:

www.washoelibraryfriends.org

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