One group of volunteers makes sure the color-coded labels match the genre identified on tables inside the Civic Center while another group of volunteers neatly places them on the rows of tables.
"It's a very grueling day because those boxes are so heavy," May said, "but we put a lot of hard work into this event, so it's gratifying to see how many people show up for it and are waiting in line to do it."
The Kanawha County Public Library makes an average of $29,000 during the used book sale, May said. Part of the money goes back into the Book Festival, while the rest is used for a grant process within the library system. Library workers can request the money for programs or necessary items for the library itself.
The library's series of free concerts in February, called Sunday Jams, is funded by profits from the used book sale, May said.
Even though thousands of booklovers buy thousands of books during the used book sale, there still can be many books left over when the sale ends at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Fortunately for local nonprofit groups, the library welcomes them to take any books that are still scattered on the tables Sunday afternoon. They can do whatever they want with them, May said, but she thinks most of them add the books to their own libraries.
Step by Step, Covenant House, Read Aloud West Virginia and the Southern Appalachia Labor School are some of the organizations that will clear out the rest of the books, May said.
People who buy books at the used book sale are of all ages, May said. She has seen people carry books away in little red wagons, small carts and tote bags. Audiobooks, DVDs and CDs also are for sale.
The used book sale is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Attendees can buy a bag of books for $2 and a box for $5 all day Sunday. Cash, checks and credit card are accepted. Admission to the event itself is free.
For more information about the used book sale, visit http://wvbookfestival.org/booksale.html or call 304-343-4646.
Reach Megan Workman at megan.work...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.