Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Fort Worth Show Benefit Booth - Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library

Word Play! That’s the theme of the March 3,4,5 Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art. Words on art, words carved on wood, engraved on silver, sewn onto textiles, embossed on a tiny thimble or emblazoned on a vintage sign.
And there will be words in books! Lots of books! 

The Fort Worth Show welcomes the Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library as our 2017 Benefit Booth.  Their booth will offer a huge used book sale, with bushels of books for bargain lovers.  

“The Friends” is a membership group that has supported the Fort Worth Library System for over 50 years. Through paid memberships, their public book store and well-shopped book sales, they raise funds for hundreds of library programs at branches throughout the city. They help fund library computer equipment and classes, as well as the “Worth Reading” program which encourages year-round reading by youth and adults. They sponsor the Texas Literary Hall of Fame to honor Texas writers.

While the Library has a Library Foundation for large grants and gifts, the Friends of the Library offers a grassroots community of support.

Bunny Gardner, president of the Friends of the Library, gave me a tour of the 50,000 square foot book store run by Friends volunteers at 5332 Trail Lake Dr., just south of I-20 near Old Granbury Rd. She said it was one of the largest Friends bookstores in the US, processing over 250,000 donated pieces a year.

You can tell that Bunny’s background is in retail: the store is pristine, bright and well-organized with current titles priced to sell. There are pleasant areas to sit and read, a sales counter and an entire back wing for processing donated books.

At Friends book sales several times each year, an annex facility is set up like a library for people to buy books.   “It’s a lot of work to sell a book for $1. That’s why we work with volunteers,” says Bunny. Some of the volunteers at The Friends store are retired from a profession or a corporation. I met Paul, a volunteer who has a trucking company, and who will be transporting the books for sale to the Fort Worth Show. Thank you, Paul!

Items for the sale include:  

--Children’s books, non-fiction, history, art and interior design 

--21 boxes of western and Texana books from the collection of historian and collector Doug Harman

-- a 1911 set of Encyclopedia Britannica in its original shelf 

--New and like-new books for gifts, graduations & weddings    
--Two vintage boxed sets of the Oxford English Dictionary, with the original magnifying glass that came in the drawer at the top of the case. Tiny Print! Plus, The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester, which tells the odd, odd story of the formation of the OED, involving an American writing from an asylum.

--In addition to thousands of books, the Friends will also sell new photo scrapbooks, gift items, gift certificates and donated antiques.  

Bunny's favorite book in the store today? All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, winner of the Rome Prize, a novel about a young French girl going blind in the midst of violence and resistance in Europe during WWII.

At the Fort Worth Show you will receive an invitation to the Friends April book sale and an opportunity to help support your public library. Follow The Friends at

Book Store Hours:  Wed, Thurs, Fri, 10-6   Sat 10-5
5332 Trail Lake Dr. just south of I-20 at Old Granbury Rd. Fort Worth

In another time, my mother would drop me off at the old downtown library. I would descend the stairs into Children’s Department and hours later emerge with a stack of checked-out books as big as I could carry. I can still remember the good smell of new books in the old library. These days libraries get by with a lot of help from their Friends.

Shop the Friends book sale in the Benefit Booth at the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art, March 3,4,5, 2017 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center.

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It's east to leave a comment. What do you love about antiques? Hope to see you at the show!