Bookworm bonanza: It's the Smith College sale

April 01, 1995|By Jennifer Brennan | Jennifer Brennan,Contributing Writer

The devious ones slip a few Agatha Christies among the 1974 National Geographics and make plans to retrieve them for half-price on Sunday. The less discriminate ones gather them up by the armful -- heaping, tilting columns of books by Shakespeare and Bronte and Tom Clancy.

They are the nearly 4,000 dealers, families, lovers of literature and long-time bookworms expected for the 37th annual Smith College Book Sale at the Towson Armory, 307 Washington Ave.

Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow from noon to 5 p.m. (all books half-price) and 6 p.m.-8 p.m. (all you can carry for $2).

"A lot of people count on the sale as a way to stock up on paperbacks, fiction, mysteries or their favorite category of books," says 12-year volunteer Joan Griffith. "There's a real camaraderie among the buyers."

The first sale,in 1959, raised about $1,000, she says, while recent sales have netted $25,000-$30,000 each for the Northampton, Mass., school's scholarship fund.

This year's collection totals 50,000 to 60,000 -- mostly books, but also magazines, videotapes, a host of Beatles favorites and a collection of classical music records.

Today should be fairly calm for the sale, predicts Mrs. Griffith, but the frenzy returns when the doors re-open at 6 p.m. on Sunday for the all-you-can-carry special.

This year's sale is chaired by Judith Gehret and Rhoda Dorsey, former president of Goucher College.

The association collects and sorts books for the sale throughout the year. Donations, accepted again beginning in May, can be made by calling the Smith College Club of Baltimore at (410) 821-6241.

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