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Black Friday at the little library that could

November 29, 2013|By Hector Tobar
  • The Clark County Public Library in Kentucky was the site of a Black Friday shopping crowd.
The Clark County Public Library in Kentucky was the site of a Black Friday… (Clark County Public Library )

Granted, it’s not quite the same thing as a big discount on a giant flat-screen television or an Xbox console. But there are Black Friday book deals to be had out there.

Black Friday, for example, is a time when many public libraries schedule book sales, including the Clark County Public Library in Winchester, Ky. The library sale this year included the offer of all the books you could fill in a bag for just $2.

In an effort to build a big crowd for the sale, a librarian told the Winchester Sun earlier this month: “At the library’s Black Friday Book Sale, you can, no joke, get a gift for everyone on your holiday list for $2, unless your list is hundreds of people long, and then it may cost you $6.”

On Friday the crowds came, though there was little chance of a shoppers’ riot in Winchester, a town of 18,000 people famous as the home of the Ale-8 soft drink. Before the library opened on Friday morning, there was a line outside, said Lynn Wills, a library employee who organized the sale.

“We had 25 people outside in line,” Wills told The Times in a phone interview. “They actually came an hour early. A few of them had rollers on their bags.”

The library sold used books from its collection, and also donated books, audiobooks and DVDs. In less than an hour, “We had lots of bare tables,” Wills said. All the proceeds, she said, will go back into the library and its summer reading program.

Public libraries in Wisconsin and Michigan organized similar sales.

Most independent bookstores chose Saturday, also known as “Small Business Saturday,” for their big sales push. Saturday will be the first ever Indies First day, with hundreds of authors working at neighborhood stores.

But the struggling retail chain Barnes and Noble joined Target, Walmart and other big retailers in the Black Friday madness by cutting the prices of its Nook tablets: Nook Simple Touch was at its lowest price ever of just $39 (down from $79), and the Nook HD tablet for $79 (down from $129).

The Nook HD quickly sold out online, the retailer announced on its Twitter feed.


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