Collection down, but sales not at UHS used book sale

Staff photos by Candice Monhollan Left, the Unionville High School PTO sold about half its collected books in one night and still had thousands of books left over for its Saturday sale as well. Right, co-chairs Julie Bernstein, left, and Cindy Hineman, right, were more than happy to see the turnout of people who still want to buy and have actual books over E-Readers.
Unionville High English teacher J.E. Byrne was on hand selling and signing copies of her first novel, “Dead Land,” at the UHS used book sale Feb. 22.

Sometimes there’s nothing better than sitting down to an actual book to hold in your hand and read and many locals were able to get the chance to find that one or two – or even more – titles to enjoy at the annual Used Book Sale Feb. 21 and 22.

The sale, which took place in Unionville High School’s gymnasium, was sponsored by the school’s PTO and all proceeds made go directly into its funds.

“The PTO budgets [the money] out to grants that the teachers ask for,” said Cindy Hineman, co-chair of the book sale. “It goes to a lot of nice things and a lot of teachers always come up and thank us or when we’re here, they come and get us to show us the new toy or gadget that they got.”

Despite the snow-filled days and the lack of classes in session because of it, the PTO was still able to collect thousands of books across dozens of different genres.

“Our collection is down somewhat and we’re hoping it’s due to the weather and not the E-Readers,” Hineman said.

The count of books may have been down, but the attendance was not.

“[Friday] night, we probably had 60 or 70 big book buyers and we had the general public come in,” said Lisa Dell, a volunteer at the sale. “Basically, we sold out 50 percent of what we had [in one night].”

And even with half the supply already gone for Saturday’s open doors, there were still plenty of books to go around.

Visitors to the used book sale were also treated with a signing by local author J.E. Byrne, who just happens to also be an English teacher at the high school, and just recently released her first of three novels titled “Dead Land.”

“The PTO asked me if I would like to be a part of the book sale and I felt privileged to do so,” Byrne said. “[I’ve received] a lot of visitors from students and parents of students I had in the past.”

The plan is to have Byrne back again next year in time for the release of her second book in the trilogy.

Books at the sale ranged from anywhere between 20 cents to $3. The more expensive prices were reserved for the newly released books, which they had plenty of this time around.

“The quality of what we got was very easy to categorize and sort,” said Julie Bernstein, also co-chair of the book sale. “This year, our new books are back up. I think people may have tried Nooks, but people went back to books because we got a lot more newer ones donated this year.”

With the emergence of E-Readers such as the Nook and Kindle and even a smart phone, it’s a refreshing sight to see so many people still want the ability to hold an actual book in their hands.

“I need to hold the paper in my hand and a lot of people here need that, too,” Hineman said. “They like the smell of the book, they like the crisp open. The people still love it.”

Bernstein summed it all up into one simple sentence.

“I think book lovers will always be book lovers,” she said.

And over the last six years, those book lovers have helped the PTO raise more than $200,000 with the used book sale and this year was no different.

About the Author

Candice Monhollan

Candice Monhollan is a 2012 Temple University graduate. She loves to cover sports, especially hockey. She enjoys marching with the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps and has a love of U.S. military history, which includes reenacting. Reach the author at cmonhollan@dailylocal.com .