Book Bash 2014
Kent District Library Service Center
814 West River Center Dr., Comstock Park
If the phrase “used book sale” brings to mind those sad piles of tattered Harlequin novels and dog-eared microwave cookbooks found in every thrift store, then perhaps you need to pay more attention to what the Kent District Library is up to. For the last two years, the organization has reinvigorated this once-tired concept by transforming a giant warehouse at its Comstock Park Service Center into a veritable book lover’s utopia during an annual event they’ve fittingly dubbed Book Bash.
For three days, the untold riches of KDL’s vast collection of donated and out-of-circulation materials - paperbacks, hardcovers, audiobooks, even CDs and DVDs - are laid bare across more than 100 tables, and here’s the kicker: every item in the warehouse is 50 cents to a dollar apiece, and on the last day of the sale, shoppers can get everything they can fit into a bag for just five bucks.
Cheryl Garrison, manager of KDL’s Bryon Center Branch, is spearheading Book Bash's third iteration, which she says reflects the library’s universal appeal.
“Maybe you have a favorite author that you’re collecting. Maybe you’re a history buff. Maybe you’re a music aficionado. Whatever you’re into, there’s something here for you, and at a fraction of the price you’d pay in a bookstore.”
But don’t let the ludicrously cheap prices fool you into thinking that you’re walking into a musty, dusty trap of ancient and irrelevant media. Only the highest-quality materials, ranging from brand new to gently used, make it to the tables, and most of the items for sale were published within the last 10 years. That makes Book Bash the perfect opportunity to build a home library on a budget, something Garrison believes is equally beneficial to both kids and adults.
“It’s great for adults to have a season’s supply of great books to read at home or take on vacation, but it’s really important for children as well” she said. “In terms of developing literacy, it’s crucial for children to see books in their home and to see adults enjoying reading.”
At its heart, Book Bash is more than just a used book sale; it’s yet another way KDL nurtures the symbiotic relationship between itself and the public it serves. The sale is a major fundraiser for the organization, one that Garrison and others hope will bring in around $20,000 in profit. That money will go a long way towards ensuring the KDL’s continued ability to provide the community with unparalleled (and not to mention, free) access to a world of media, as well as enrichment opportunities like the Summer Reading Club.
With additional activities including a special sale for area teachers, children’s face painting activities and live music on Saturday afternoon, this year’s Book Bash proves without a doubt that used books are indeed something to get excited about.
“This event has grown a great deal each year, and we hope that trend continues going forward,” Garrison said. "The wonderful thing about books is that there’s always a new generation of readers waiting to discover them.”
Other Literary Events
Grand Rapids Poet Laureate Inauguration Ceremony
Grand Rapids Public Library – Main Branch
April 3, 5:30 p.m.
grpl.org, (616) 988-5400
Join a host of the city’s poetic talent’s at this special ceremony welcoming Calvin College professor and distinguished poet L.S. Klatt as Grand Rapids' fifth Poet Laureate. Klatt, whose latest collection, Cloud of Ink, won the prestigious Iowa Poetry Prize, will begin his three-year term with a reading and a discussion of his vision for poetry in the city.
Kalamazoo Poetry Festival Opening Ceremony
Kalamazoo Public Library
April 4, 5 p.m.
Kalamazoo is celebrating National Poetry Month all month long with this unique festival. Events throughout the month include a performance workshop, an introductory writing workshop, a craft Q&A panel and a host of readings. What’s more, all of these great events will feature some of the state’s brightest poetic talents.
GLCL Poetry Contest Reading
Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters
758 Wealthy, Grand Rapids
April 12, 7 p.m.
Celebrate National Poetry Month at the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters. Michigan poet Thomas Lynch, author of five collections of poetry and four collections of essays, will join the winner of the GLCL’s annual poetry contest for a special reading that celebrates the strong literary traditions of our state.