Councilmember Godden left office on January 1, 2016.
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Seattle: Still en-tomed

There were more than a quarter of a million reasons to go to the Friends of the Library book sale at Magnuson Park this past weekend.

The traditional Spring sale of donated and retired books, DVDs, records, posters and sheet music drew crowds of book-lovers to the doors of the old Navy hangar. Patrons were walking away with boxes filled to the brim, overflowing bags and even the occasional wheeled dolly, trundling noisily on the pathways at the former U. S. Naval airstation.

The spring sale is a traditional rite, attended by book-hungry readers, enterprising used book dealers, electronic devices in hand, and happy bargain hunters. Just see what you can find arrayed on the folding tables and in the carefully sorted cardboard cartons.

There’s a wonderful sense of camaraderie that flourishes at the sale.  Patrons waiting to check out stand in long lines and confer with other patrons; the hard-working volunteers who do the monitoring and cashiering somehow find time to exchange pleasantries, congratulating patrons on their educated tastes.

Eavesdropping is rich and wonderful as when one overhears a handsome young couple: He’s showing her pictures from a book about the making of Walt Disney’s “Fantasia.” She’s equally fascinated by the story and they walk away, the book under his arm on its way to the cashier’s desk.

On Sunday, when all items are half priced, the crowd eased into holiday mood.  Families were stretched out on the sunny lawn in front of the hanger, picknicking and comparing bargains. Isn’t it grand when you can buy a recent best-seller for just 50 cents?

Inside, peaceful browsing is only occasionally interrupted by the crackle of the loud speaker system, which announces lost children, missing companions and sales opportunities. One such message: “John Doe (named changed to protect the forgetful), please meet your spouse at Will Call or at least turn your cell phone on.”

The Spring Sale, a Seattle tradition since 1971, benefits the Seattle Public Library, supporting programs that the library can’t afford with its operating budget. Next comes the Friends’ Fall Book Sale Sept. 24-26. Meanwhile, supporters are encouraged to make tax-deductible donations of books, CDs, DVDs and audio books to the sale.

See you at the next treasure hunt.