Members of the Aiken branch of the American Association of University Women were all smiles as they assisted the flood of people attending their Books ‘N Things Fair on Friday.

On Friday morning, a line of anxious residents was waiting outside the old CVS space where the event is taking place, ready to rummage through a variety of hardcover and paperback books, VHS tapes, DVDs, audiobooks, kitchen items, holiday and seasonal items, jewelry, toys and puzzles, and more.

“We had a big rush this morning,” said Event Co-Chair Ginny Brooks. “It was so packed. It was crazy. They kept coming and coming and coming, which is great for us.”

This is the 43rd year the association has held the greatly anticipated event. Laura Tempia was sitting at the end of a table filled with books thumbing through the pages of a few prospective buys. She said it’s a fantastic opportunity to find books that she wouldn’t be able to find online.

“We’ve been coming every year,” Tempia said. “It’s something we always look forward to.”

Susan Pickett and her husband Chuck were at the fair together looking for art and history books. Susan picked up Jodi Picoult’s “Handle With Care” stating that she plans on lending the book to her mother after she reads it and then donating it to a library so it gets as much use as possible.

“It’s a new discovery of nice treasures for a great cause,” Pickett said.

The money raised by the fair funds scholarships to USC Aiken and Aiken Technical College. Funds have also been donated in the past to Public Education Partners and GED programs.

When the fair concludes today, local teachers who called ahead are allowed in to pick up any remaining books they would like for free.

Leitz said the turnout has been strong so far, and she hopes even more people will come out today.

“I’d say it’s a great sale,” said Event Co-chair Pam Leitz. “We’ve had a lot of great response from the community.”

The association’s Books ‘N Things Fair continues today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the former CVS location in Kalmia Plaza.

For more information, call 642-7858.