33rd Annual YMCA Bookfair Set for August 19-24, 2011 at Kennedy Recreation Center

[ST. LOUIS, July 28, 2011] -- – “When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”  While that statement was made centuries ago (Desiderius Erasmus) this sentiment is as strong today for hundreds of book lovers from more than 20 states who venture to the annual YMCA Bookfair.

A St. Louis region end-of-summer favorite, preparations for the 33rd Annual YMCA Bookfair have been underway since March when Y branches began collecting books, CDs, magazines and records.

The event benefits youth and literacy programs at the Y. Through the Washington University Campus YMCA and YMCA Community Literacy, hundreds of adults and children in the St. Louis area have access to free books and reading tutors.

“Funds raised from annual book sales allow us to provide these valuable programs and get low-cost books out into the community,” said Caroline Mitchell, director of the Y Community Literacy. “The adults and children we serve gain more than reading skills. They gain self-confidence and self-esteem. We remind YMCA Bookfair patrons that by buying books, they’re really making a positive impact on the lives of others and strengthening our community in the process.”

The YMCA Bookfair runs August 19-24, 2011 at the Kennedy Recreation Center, near Meramec Bottom Road and I-55. All books will be on one level, with handicap accessible access and air-conditioning.

 The YMCA Bookfair annually has a classic collection of rare books. Those one-of-a-kind collectibles can be found on the YMCA Bookfair Facebook page.

“Since early March volunteers have filled four tractor trailer containers with great books. We don’t keep anything you wouldn’t want to relax with and read at home,” said Tiffany Barke, executive director of the Campus Y at Washington University. “As always, we have an awesome selection of rare books, many of which have beautiful illustrated bindings. The paperback section alone takes up about 1/8 of the entire area during the Bookfair, especially the romance novels.”

The YMCA Bookfair would not be possible without hundreds of volunteers who invest more than 8,000 hours to prepare for the event, then dismantle tables and repack remaining books. Boy Scout Troop 181 from Grace United Church of Christ, led by Carl Schumacher, has worked the YMCA Bookfair for 25 years; Boy Scout Troop 66 from Bayless has volunteered 15 years.

Three members of the Carondelet Service Club—Rachelle Reeg, Rea Finn and Fran Goebel—have volunteered at the YMCA Bookfair every year since 1978. Nancy McCullough, a retired librarian, has donated more than 140 hours since March, sorting books in preparation for the bookfair.

The 33rd annual YMCA Bookfair begins Friday, August 19 at 4 p.m. with a special “Preview Night,” a chance to get a sneak peak at all books for sale. There is a $10 admission for the “Preview Night” sale. The book fair continues 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, August 20 through Wednesday, August 24 with free admission. Special pricing begins Tuesday August 23 with “Half Price Day,” and Wednesday, August 24 offers shoppers a “$10 bag or box day.”

For additional information, visit

www.ymcabookfair.org, the YMCA Bookfair page on Facebook or call 314-353-4960.

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