Pequot Library book sale July 26-20 features 140,000 items

The 53rd annual book sale at the Pequot Library in Southport will take place July 26 to 30. Known as one of the biggest book sales in New England, this year’s event will feature more than 140,000 books, CDs, DVDs, records and videos.

Admission is free and all sale proceeds benefit the library at 720 Pequot Ave. in Fairfield’s Southport section. Major credit cards are accepted.

The sale will take place outdoor on the lawn under tents and inside in the library’s auditorium.

Hours and pricing

Hours and pricing are as follows:

Friday, July 26 — 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (double the marked price)

Saturday, July 27 — 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (priced as marked)

Sunday, July 28 — 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (priced as marked)

Monday, July 29 — 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (half the marked price)

Tuesday, July 30 — 9 a.m.-2 p.m. ($5 per bag day)

Many categories of books

'There will be a huge assortment of children’s books with a special section of collectible children’s books — new for this year.

Book categories are:

— Art and Photography

— Business

— Biography

— Several sections of History: U.S., European, World, and Military

— Children’s

— Computer Software and Books

— Cooking; Crafts and Style

— Foreign Language

— Gardening

— Mystery and Thriller

— Romance

— Science

— Sports

— Science Fiction

— Current Fiction

— Classic Fiction: Poetry and Drama

— Trade Paperbacks

Visitors also will find sheet music, comic books and prints. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Rare and signed books

Some of the rare books — known as “Specials” at the book sale — available this year will include:

— two books inscribed by Jean-Paul Sartre

— a reprint of the “Bay Psalms” from 1862. “Bay Psalms” was the first book printed in North America in 1640, and original copies are considered to be among the most valuable books in the world

— signed book by Maurice Sendak (”Where the Wild Things Are”)

— signed book by former President Jimmy Carter (”The Virtues of Aging”)

— signed book by baseball star Hank Aaron (”I Had a Hammer”)

— signed book by World War l flying ace and American aviator Eddie Rickenbacker

— signed book by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (”Chico,” an illustrated children’s book)

— First edition of John Steinbeck’s “Sweet Thursday”

— First edition of Pierre Boulle’s “Planet of the Apes”

— “The Newark Anniversary Poems: (1917), which was published in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of Newark, N.J. and includes a poem by Ezra Pound

The book sale’s beginnings

Longtime volunteer book sale sorter Bill Coleman credits former Pequot Library Business Manager Grace Donaldson for “talking Stanley Crane into the book sale concept.”

The first Pequot Library book sale was in 1961.

“She started small, selling books removed from the collection, and the public loved it,” Coleman said. “Soon people were calling up Pequot wanting to donate books. Hop Perry, Stanley Crane and Mary Briggs certainly were the ones who started it, they were the leaders. The rest of us are volunteers.”

Books can be donated throughout the year, except for the block-out time around the book sale from July 17 to Aug. 5. This allows ample time to focus on the current book sale.

The Pequot Library, open to the public, can be reached at 203-259-0346, ext. 15. Learn more at