Strong support for book sale

By Allan Benner, The Tribune

There’s always a huge lineup waiting for the doors to open for the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Welland and district’s annual book sale.

The team of volunteers which run the annual fundraising event are expecting a lineup again this year, when the 47th annual book sale takes place at the Niagara Regional Exhibition grounds on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Welland really supports things like this,” said chapter president Suzette Taylor, who has been involved in the book sale for more than 20 years.

“Once something gets established … people really get behind it, and they really got behind this sale.”

One thing that sets the CFUW book sale apart is the organization that goes into it.

Although some used book sales simply pile stacks of unsorted books on tables, Taylor said a lot of people don’t have the time or patients to hunt for something they’d like to read.

“Our books are organized so if someone comes in wanting a cookbook, they know exactly where to go,” Taylor said.

It takes a lot of work every year, sorting through thousands of books, said CFUW volunteer Margaret Kleinsmith.

“I have half garage right now filled with boxes of books” that will need to be sorted, Kleinsmith said.

CFUW secretary Mary Szabo said about 25 to 30 people are involved in sorting the books prior for up to three days prior to to the sale.

“Everyone pitches in really a lot,” she said.

The community also continues to support the book sale through the donation of used books.

Digital copies of books used in e-readers have cut into donations during the past few years, but they still get enough to keep the tables well stocked at the event.

“We still got a lot. There are still tons of books to choose from,” Kleinsmith said.

Donations of used books can be dropped off at the Niagara Regional Exhibition Building B, during the three days prior to the book sale.

Taylor said the CFUW volunteers often end up selling the exact same books time and time again.

Many of the return customers tell the volunteers who run the book sale: “OK, this is my winter reading material and I’ll bring it all back next year,” Taylor said with a laugh.

Proceeds from the sale are used to provide scholarships of $600 each to a graduating girl bound for university from each of the eight secondary schools in the organization’s jurisdiction, as well as community projects.

More information is available by sending e-mail to, or online at