CFUW Prince Albert book sale returns after lengthy hiatus

Herald file photo. Volunteers and book buyers sort through a table of donated books at a previous CFUW Prince Albert book sale.

CFUW Prince Albert is bringing back their popular used book sale beginning April 29 at South Hill Mall.

Due to pandemic restrictions, this is the first sale the local university women’s club has been able to hold since the fall of 2019. Organizers view the sale as an annual sign Spring has returned to Prince Albert, and it’s something they’ve greatly missed.

“It’s super exciting,” Gail Syverson of CFUW Prince Albert said. “We have really gathered the troops and we are getting the details finalized and we are really thinking it is going to be a wonderful sale.

“People are excited about it. I am sure they are anxious to first of all donate their books and I’m sure they are anxious to come find new books to share.”

The last time one of their sales took place was October 2019. They had scheduled one for April 2020 which never happened because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This (sale) is definitely a tradition,” Syverson said. “It’s more than 30 years that we have been having book sales and funding scholarships through book sales. People kind of look forward to it.”

Throughout these long isolated months there has been a continued desire to buy books and to donate books to the sale. This year, organizers have created bargain bags of books for a set price. There are no fixed prices for the other books on sale.

Residents are welcome to donate their much-loved books, preferably by bringing them to South Hill Mall on April 26 or 27.

Syverson said the generosity of donors and book buyers alike was amazing.

“Somebody will pick up three books and give us $20,” she explained. “We are happy to see the books just coming and going.”

The generosity extends beyond book sales and donations. Syverson said they’re also grateful for the people who donated their time, like the company that cleaned the floors at the location.

“He said, ‘oh, well, I didn’t realize that you were fundraising for scholarships,’ and said, ‘you don’t have to pay,’” she explained.

SHARE will help transport the books. Syverson they likely have more than 20 pallets, with at least three or four boxes full stacked on top of each other.

After choosing their books, book buyers are invited to make a donation to the CFUW scholarship fund. In 2021, CFUW Prince Albert offered $5,000 in scholarships to Prince Albert students.

Organizers anticipate a huge influx of donated material this year, so the sale hours have been expanded.

Syverson credited volunteers for helping sort everything and making the sale happen.

“Really, we are so lucky,” she said. “We have people that had been helping at the book sale who are not otherwise involved with the CFUW Prince Albert, our club that sponsors the sale, but they come out and they are there shelving and sorting, just helping out. We really couldn’t do it without the community support that we get.”

As well as the usual Friday and Saturday hours, the sale will extend through the afternoons of the intervening weekdays.

Sale hours are Friday and Saturday April 29 and 30, 10 to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday, May 2 to 5, noon-5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday May 6 and 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The sale will be mask friendly. Patrons are encouraged to bring your own reusable bags in which to carry home the books they discover.

The CFUW Book Sale is assisted by the Optimist Club, SHARE and community volunteers.

Syverson said that they are grateful just to be having the sale again.

“We are looking forward to having a great time accepting people’s donations of books and seeing people go away with books that they are happy to have,” she said. “That’s the best part of it.”