This past week, Pequot Library held its annual book sale. Pequot Library’s annual book sale has been dubbed the biggest and the best book sale in New England.For the last four years, Wonderland BookSavers has run a “Lemonade for Literacy” stand during the book sale. The purpose of Lemonade for Literacy is to raise donations to purchase books from Pequot Library’s book sale, and then donate those books. The books we obtained this year via Lemonade for Literacy and Pequot Library’s book sale will be going to South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Ghana. To prepare our stand and concessions, we spruced up some of our old signs and banners and created some new signs with recent pictures of our service work so customers could see the children we serve.
Each night, we baked new batches of brownies, cookies, and rice crispy treats. Every morning before we went to the library, we made a new batch of homemade lemonade. We arrived at the library in the late morning each day to settle ourselves and set up our stand. We propped up a piece of plywood as a table on top of wooden crates, and then swept a yellow and white table cloth over our table. Next, we put our cooler filled with our ice cold lemonade to one side of our stand, and we arrayed our baked goods across the rest of the table. Instead of having fixed prices on our commodities, we had all our goods priced by donation.
We ran our stand from about 11 AM to 4 PM each day of the book sale. We had many customers, but during the slower times of day, we passed time playing Apples to Apples, UNO, and reading books.
On the last day of the book sale, instead of running Lemonade for Literacy, we selected books from inside the expansive white tent, and then used our $212.50 that we raised through our lemonade stand to purchase 1,500 books.Through our Lemonade for Literacy stand, we were able to benefit our longtime community partner Pequot Library while collecting books to donate to children in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ghana.
Some of you may remember this forlorn collection of Dr. Seuss books owned by a local school library.
The librarian requested that we assist her with Dr. Seuss books for her collection. She stated, “Dr. Seuss is a favorite. The easy rhyme schemes are appealing to children and greatly aid early literacy efforts.” We posted the request on our home page and Pequot Library noticed!
Pequot Library hosts an annual Book Sale for which it collects thousands of books.
The Director selected multiple Dr. Seuss titles. The school librarian was able to purchase these books through the Bucks for Books program.
Look for our special Dr. Seuss reading program which we will be doing with both libraries this summer and fall, featuring The Sneetches and Other Stories from our One Book: One World program.
We know it is finally midsummer with the arrival of the Annual Pequot Library Book Sale.
This sale is the largest in New England. Thousands of book lovers come from the surrounding areas, some as far north as Massachusetts and New Hampshire, some as far south as New Jersey. The tents are filled with dog-eared and beloved books on every subject. Booksellers, book lovers and book browsers peruse the books, each searching (and finding) those unique volumes that will inspire and delight.
These past three days we went to the Pequot Library and set up a lemonade stand in rain and sunshine. We all huddled under an umbrella as it poured and were still huddled under it for shade when it was sunny. We made $212 by selling lemonade, different kinds of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes. I enjoyed making the brownies with my two little brothers and sister.
On the last day of the sale we used our money for a great deal: $5 a box! We bought 40 boxes of wonderful children’s books, over two thousand books filled with facts, fiction and fantasy. We chose classics, illustrated novels and inspiring picture books. Many of these books we have read and loved ourselves.
The volunteer cashier was very impressed and asked to have a picture taken with us. She wrote down the quote on the back of our shirts, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free,” by Frederick Douglass.
Soon we will pack up the boxes and ship them to different parts of Africa, with the help of a donating corporation.
My favorite part of this process was giving a cookie and lemonade to our first customer, a little girl with a beautiful smile.