Mega Book Sale makes grand return

FOCCLS members Deb Driskill, left, and Mary Kay Pavilionis discuss final details for the sale while pricing books before they are packed away for transport to the Citrus County Auditorium.

Once upon a time, the Friends of the Citrus County Library System (FOCCLS) held a Mega Book Sale. The annual event was put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020.

Now, 18 months later, the it returns to the Citrus County Auditorium, 3610 S. Florida Ave. in Inverness on the following dates:

  • 3 to 8 p.m. Oct. 1
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 2
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 3
  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 4

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On opening day, hundreds of shoppers will line up with bags and carts, lists in hand, ready to pay their $5 entrance fee for a chance to get first crack at the books for sale.

This autumn, sale planners decided to open earlier Oct. 1 to allow shoppers more time to browse the estimated 1,000 cartons of books.

They hope this will alleviate some of the crowding that shoppers have encountered in the past. With the exceptionally large number of books available at this sale, there should be plenty to go around.

On Oct. 2, there is no entrance fee, Oct. 3 is half price day and Oct. 4 is $7 per bag of books.

FOCCLS has been running the sale with a smaller number of volunteers than in past years to try and keep the “Book House” crew of workers healthy. There will still be plenty of cashiers available at checkout stations accepting cash, checks and cards.

Additional workers will be in the holding area to watch over selections while customers continue shopping and to help with transporting large orders out to cars.

Yellow shirted workers on the floor are book experts and great resources for remembering who wrote that favorite title or for book recommendations.

Shoppers at this sale may notice that the nonfiction books are sorted into fewer subject categories, but all the customer favorites will still be available.

Lots of great books for children and teens have been donated and this sale is the perfect way to build a home library for growing readers or find stocking stuffers for the quickly approaching holiday season.

Shoppers can also look for treasures on the antiques and oddities shelves featuring collectable titles and plenty of nostalgia.

In keeping with the recent popularity of streaming, there will no longer be DVDs or CDs for sale. However, jigsaw puzzle lovers will find lots of great options. 

“Everyone is so excited we'll be back, workers and shoppers both,” Book House volunteer and FOCCL president Mary Kay Pavilionis said.

Pavilionis said between the many pop-up sales in 2020 and the monthly sidewalk sales, $35,000 was collected and all profits raised were donated to the Citrus County Library System to pay for new books.

FOCCLS president Sandy Price encourages every Citrus County resident who shops at the sale to come early to get the best selection and then return on Sunday or Monday to take advantage of the discounted prices offered.

To keep up with this and future sales, visit Friends of the Citrus County Library System on Facebook. For additional information, visit foccls.org or call 352-513-4221.

Hannah Sachewicz is a reporter for the Chronicle. She can be reached at 352-564-2929 or hannah.sachewicz@chronicleonline.com.

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