LIMA — With records showing the event dates back to at least 1962, the AAUW Book Fair is a sure sign of fall.Since then, the American Association of University Women has helped send many young women to college by selling a lot of books. And movies. And sheet music. And, on and on.The group, with about 40 members, has accepted books and other materials all summer. They are packed to the gills, President Pat Komarek said.“We usually have 75,000 [materials], probably more,” Komarek said. “We categorize things. It's set up like a library, fiction, nonfiction, children's.”AAUW has its regulars — donors and shoppers. Sometimes, they're one in the same. The women mark books sold in the fair, and many times they'll see those marked books sold and then redonated the next year. Books are, after all meant to be shared, and the ladies don't mind the twice-over sale.The group has found the ultimate recycler online; Giggil.com takes your stuff and sells it for you, for a fee that's passed on to the purchaser, not the group. Giggil calls it a “stuff-raiser.” Komarek calls it getting rid of what's left without tossing it, and again, bringing in a little more cash.“They take all our remaining stock,” Komarek said. “Nothing ends up in the trash.”The group is open to women graduates of two or four-year colleges. It provides $1,000 scholarships to college-bound women and “camperships” to middle school girls to attend math, science and engineering summer camps at Ohio Northern University and Dennison University. The scholarships tend to generate about 60 applications for 10 to 12 awards, Komarek said.As a newlywed, Komarek moved to Lima in 1967. She had graduated from Bowling Green State University and begun teaching, first in Lima, then Elida. A friend at work told her about AAUW.Since then, she's seen countless young women benefit from the scholarships, including lots of fresh-faced preteens in recent years who get their confidence about math and science skills boosted with the camps.The book fair draws so many for the good cause, Komarek said, because of the wide variety of books and materials.“I think people are thinking about hunkering down for the winter and getting their reading supplies,” Komarek said. “It's unbelievable what people buy, what goes out the door.”An early-bird shopping night is set for 5 p.m. Sept. 6 at 2720 Elida Road (in Lima Center, next to Shoe Carnival). The cost is $5 in addition to the cost of the books. The fundraiser continues from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 7, 8 and 9 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 10. Bargain shoppers can take advantage of half-price books Sept. 8 and $3 bags and $5 boxes Sept. 9 and 10.Some folks come every day, Komarek said, because with such an inventory, the group puts out new things every day of the sale.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.
In the City: Book sales brewing at AAUW fair