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They've got it covered.

Byline: Tim Christie The Register-Guard

This book-buying business is not for the faint of heart.

Witness the line at 8:30 on a cool, cloudy Saturday morning, snaking from inside the Convention Center at the Lane Events Center, outside to the sidewalk and stretching clear to the corner of the building.

See the buyers, some who'd waited all night, clutching empty cardboard boxes, plastic bins, duffel bags and rolling suitcases, waiting eagerly as the minutes tick closer to the appointed hour.

Watch as the doors open at 8:55 a.m., and the book lovers and dealers come rushing in, running to the book-laden tables, as a volunteer yells, unheeded, "Don't run! Don't run! Don't run!"

Step aside as buyers swarm the neatly stacked books, grabbing handfuls without checking titles, shoving them into boxes, then skidding them along the smooth concrete floor to designated holding areas. Then doing it all over again.

Welcome to the Friends of the Eugene Public Library annual book sale.

The sale, in its 28th year, benefits the Eugene Public Library. Last year, the event raised $75,000, and organizers were hopeful they could meet or beat that figure this year, said Dale Crawford, Friends of the Library president.

This year, for the first time, the sale is taking place in the 22,000-square-foot Performance Hall inside the Convention Center, providing about twice as much space as Wheeler Pavilion, where the sale has been in past years.

Some 60,000 volumes were for sale, along with CDs, videotapes, books on tape, sheet music, records and pamphlets, donated by community members throughout the year, then sorted, organized and moved to the fairgrounds by more than 300 volunteers. Most sell for $1 each.

The bargain prices and huge collection draw book lovers and dealers from around the state.

Meet Cindy and Don Putt from Tillamook County, first in line. To get that coveted spot, they arrived sometime Friday, but Cindy Putt wouldn't say precisely when - she didn't want to tip off the competition.

They run an Internet-based book-selling business called Parnassus on Wheels and come every year to the Eugene book sale. They expected to spend three hours shopping and to leave with 200 to 300 nonfiction books. They like being first in line, Cindy Putt said.

"You get first choice of some of the books," she said.

Mike Justman, who runs the Abbey Book Shop in Brookings, was a slacker by comparison.

He arrived by 12:30 a.m. Saturday and, as a result, was about 15th in line. Close enough, he said, to pick up 100 or so volumes of the general nonfiction - religion, history, philosophy, psychology - that he's looking for.

Along with the more selective buyers, there seemed to be another breed, buying books as a commodity, scooping them up as quickly as possible and rushing back for more.

Meet Pedro Reynaud, working with three confederates to buy as many books as he can for his Portland bookstore - a couple thousand, maybe. See the sweat rolling down his brow.

"We work hard," he says.

ANNUAL BOOK SALE

The Friends of the Eugene Public Library annual book sale continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Convention Center at the Lane Events Center, 796 W. 13th Ave. All proceeds benefit the library.

CAPTION(S):

Buyers at the Friends of the Library annual book sale speed from table to table, loading up their bins and boxes - then doing it all over again. Pedro Reynaud, a bookstore owner from Portland, hauls away a loaded box Saturday at the Friends of the Eugene Public Library annual book sale. "Don't run! Don't run! Don't run!" - NAMELESS VOLUNTEER, CALLING FRUITLESSLY TO RABID BOOK BUYERS AS THE DOORS OPENED
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Title Annotation:General News; At the annual library benefit sale, it's every bookworm for himself
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 9, 2006
Words:621
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