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BEVERLY HILLS : Dealing in Volumes of Goodwill

January 13, 1994

A tiny, obscure bookstore just inside the entrance of the Beverly Hills Public Library racked up thousands of dollars in sales last year--and the volunteers there can't wait to give away the money.

The Friends of the Library, which runs the secondhand bookstore, will give the children's department $20,000 to buy new books and operate its annual summer reading program, which draws nearly 1,500 children. In addition, about $7,500 is earmarked for books on dance, and another $5,000 will help the library fill gaps in its literature, foreign language and philosophy collections, among others.

The Friends Bookstore opened two years ago and has thrived with the help of 65 volunteers and customers, said bookstore chairwoman Ann Golenternek.

She said the store, which recently opened a second-floor annex, each week receives donations of 500 to 600 books.

"It's the ultimate way of recycling books," she said.

The donations have included a first-edition copy of "The Manchurian Candidate" by Richard Condon, a signed edition of Tennessee Williams' "Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" and Robert Waller's current best-seller "Slow Waltz at Cedar Bend."

First editions can sell for $100, but most of the books go for 25 cents to $7, Golenternek said.

No complaints from customers on that account. She said that people sometimes stand in line, waiting for the bookstore to open, and that students and senior citizens carry out bags of books they might be unable to afford otherwise.

"It's definitely not just a Beverly Hills thing," she said.

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