University women to begin taking book fair donations

Aiken Standard file photo Judy McGinley, left, and Sandra Herrick sort books in preparation for the book sale.

The Aiken branch of the American Association of University Women is gearing up for its wildly-popular fundraiser, the annual Books 'N Things Fair.

The fair will be held March 1 and 2 in the old CVS space in Kalmia Plaza on Richland Avenue.

Now in its 43rd year, the fair offers a cornucopia of items for sale, including a variety of hardcover and paperback books, VHS tapes, DVDs, audiobooks, kitchen items, holiday and seasonal items, jewelry, toys and puzzles, and more.

The sale venue will be open beginning Jan. 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays for donations of gently used books, music, movies and household items except clothing and computers for the Attic Treasures sale section.

“This year we are not accepting magazines because we've had to scale back on space. We don't have enough space for it. We are also not taking computers, TVs, printers or clothes,” said organizer Pam Leitz. “Anything else we'd love to have.”

The selection of items has proved to be tremendous in the past, with donations estimated in the neighborhood of 70,000 books.

The turnout has been tremendous in the past, as well.

Volunteers typically arrive at 8 a.m. on the morning of the sale to prepare for the 9 a.m. opening.

“There are people lined up at the door,” Leitz said. “When we open the doors on the first day, it's like gangbusters. It's so good to see people get excited about books and reading.”

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.

“We can't do this without the support of the community,” Leitz said.

The association's Books 'N Things Fair is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 1 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 2 at the former CVS location in Kalmia Plaza.

Those interested in volunteering can call Leitz at 642-7858 for details.