Christmas book bundles wrapped and ready to go

Sales to benefit Shelby Township Library

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 18, 2015

 Approximately 300 Christmas book bundles are wrapped and ready to go at the Shelby Township Library. The bundles will be on sale at the library for $6 each through Dec. 22.

Approximately 300 Christmas book bundles are wrapped and ready to go at the Shelby Township Library. The bundles will be on sale at the library for $6 each through Dec. 22.

Photo provided by Roseanne Cerra


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shopping for loved ones and book lovers gets a little easier around this time of year with the Shelby Township Library’s Christmas book-bundle sale.

The sale features approximately 300 bundles of books — grouped by topic and age group — for $6 each. It runs through Dec. 22 at the library, located at 51680 Van Dyke Ave., north of 23 Mile Road.

Maryann Ross, library bookstore director and vice president of the nonprofit group Friends of the Shelby Township Library, said preparations for the book sale begin as early as April.

“When we see something come in that is in really good shape and pretty current, we set those aside, and we have enough stock for the bookstore,” Ross said.

Ross said she relies on her more than 20 years of working in bookstores and libraries to combine bundles of either three hardcover books or four paperbacks in genres such as mystery, romance, crafts, cookbooks, children’s books, art and history.

“Some of the books include best-selling authors such as David Baldacci, James Patterson, Robert Parker, Catherine Coulter, Tess Gerritsen and Robyn Carr,” she said. “We also have Christian fiction and books for pet lovers, as well as bundles of CDs and DVDs.”

Some of the donated books, she said, retail for more than $50 each.

For the month before the fundraiser, Ross said, dozens of volunteers met three or four times to gingerly wrap each bundle with colorful, seasonal ribbons.

She said a wide audience purchases the bundles — anyone from kids looking for gifts for other kids to people who work in offices looking for Secret Santa gifts.

“We also have about four to five sets of books that are in great shape that we put out on a separate table every year, and they sell for $40 or $50,” Ross said.

The fundraiser brings in approximately $1,800-$2,000 each year, said Marie Nickson, treasurer of the Friends of the Shelby Township Library.

Library Director Katie Ester said all proceeds from the holiday bundle sale and the library bookstore help the library pay for programming and events, as well as furniture, equipment, artwork, new CDs and DVDs, and more not covered by the library’s budget.

“The bundles are such a beautiful gift to pick up, and the Friends spend a lot of time figuring out which books go together really well,” Ester said. “They’re great for grandparents to pick up for grandkids, and if they don’t know what would be an appropriate reading level, the librarians are happy to help.”

She said she enjoys walking into the library and seeing the holiday book bundles on a front table, because they look festive.

“I love to read, and this is an inexpensive way to buy books,” said Sandy Sabotka, a library volunteer and Shelby Township resident who attends the sale nearly every year. “There’s a good variety of children’s books that I buy for my nieces for Christmas.”

For more information about the Christmas book-bundle sale, call the Shelby Township Library at (586) 739-7414.