Popular CFUW used book sale returns Friday to South Hill Mall

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Volunteers began the process of setting up the CFUW used book sale at the South Hill Mall on Friday, April 14.

CFUW Prince Albert is returning with their popular used book sale beginning April 21 at South Hill Mall.

Organizers of the popular sale view it as a tradition and a great fundraiser for scholarships from the local university organization.

“We have been doing this book sale for at least 35 years,” Gail Syverson of CFUW Prince Albert said.

“We did have a COVID break (where) we missed two sales. We have been using this as our major fundraiser for the scholarship program that we have had for more than 40 years, probably closer to 50 at least,” she added.

The sale used to be twice a year in April or May and October but they have since reverted back to the original format of once a year.

“Last year and this year we decided, nope, we are doing one big one,” Syverson said. “It makes more sense because it’s a huge job to set it up.”

A huge influx of donated material is anticipated for the sale , so the sale hours have been expanded. As well as the usual Friday and Saturday hours, the sale will extend through the afternoons of the following weekdays.

“We have more than 70 tables here and we will have at least 23 pallets of books plus donations, books that were saved from previous sales or else people donated during the year to SHARE,” Syverson explained. “SHARE has been our partner for many years in storing the books, moving the books and now moving tables.”

Syverson explained that the sale wouldn’t be a success without partners like the South Hill Mall (or South Hill Place) who have provided a space for 20 years, the Prince Albert Optimist Club and SHARE.

“It’s a lot of people,” she said. “We get the boxes from Safeway. Last year we got a good deal on white cotton gloves (and) somebody did a cleaning job for us for nothing when they found out it was a fundraising thing, so that was great. We are most appreciative.”

An estimated 35 volunteers will help with setting, working, and taking down the annual book sale. They began the process of setting up with a few volunteers on Friday, April 14 and Syverson estimated that 20 more people were around when they set up properly on Monday, April 17.

“The hardest part is figuring out where the books are going to go, (and) what the categories are,” she said. “We have always run out of space for certain things, but there is every kind of book here. We have a huge fiction section and we usually separate mysteries and science fiction, we have biographies, we have history Canadian history, vintage wonderful little old classics, we have tons of cookbooks and home and garden, and a children’s section.”

After patrons choose their books they are invited to make a donation to the CFUW scholarship fund. In 2022, CFUW Prince Albert offered $5,000 in scholarships to Prince Albert students.

“So there’s something for everyone and here’s the kicker the price is always right because you pay what you want,” Syverson said.

“People bring books and then they load up and pay us for the ones they choose so it’s just pay what you want, pay what you want and it goes to our scholarship. We are offering $5,000 in scholarships and we do a small music festival scholarship.”

Patrons are encouraged to bring your own reusable bags in which to carry home the books they discover at this sale.

“We are delighted to be able to do this to keep these books moving, (and) to provide a service to people come back year after year after year. It’s a fun thing and it’s a kind of team building, community building thing,” Syverson said.

Sale hours are Friday and Saturday April 21 and 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday to Thursday, April 24 to 27, noon to 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday April 28 and 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.