I confess: I have a book problem. I can find a million reasons to buy books. And starting this weekend, I’ll have a great reason to feed my obsession — the Friends of the Library of Hawaii’s (FLH) 70th Annual Booksale. The sale, which started as a small book auction at the governor’s house in 1947, is now one of the largest and longest-running in the country. It features over 150,000 deeply discounted new and used books, refreshed daily. You’ll find more than books, too — the sale also has works of art, which are restored and curated by knowledgeable FLH volunteers. But the sale is best known for their large collection of Hawaiiana, including rare books by local authors.
FLH's first booksale in 1947
“This sale gets books out into the community, promotes literacy, and provides funding for library programs,” says Nainoa Mau, executive director at FLH. “Many people don’t know that state library budgets only provide for the building and the staff.” This is FLH’s biggest fundraiser of the year and the money collected provides much-needed funds for library programs statewide. The books will be increasingly discounted as the 11-day sale goes on. Any that aren’t purchased will get boxed up and sent to libraries in need, locally and across the Pacific.
FLH will celebrate the sale’s 70th anniversary with two preview nights — one for FLH members on July 13 and one for members of FLH and Hawaii State Federal Credit Union members on July 14. Enter to win hourly prizes from noon to close when the sale opens to the public on July 15, just by making a purchase. Photos reaching all the way back to the first FLH booksale in 1947 will be on display. And, of course, there will be cake.
1990 Booksale Kid's Night
If you can’t make it to the booksale, FLH has you covered. They recently opened a bookstore in Arts at Marks Garage. “Ours is the only general bookstore in Chinatown,” says Mau. “We carry mostly used books with some new books donated by publishers and donations from community libraries. All of our proceeds go to supporting Hawaii’s libraries.”
There’s nothing I love more than spending lazy days at the beach, at the park, and on the couch getting lost in a great story. Anyone who reads knows it’s great for your well-being. I can’t wait to sift through bins of used books to find my new favorite. I hope to see you at FLH’s 70th Annual Booksale!
If you’d like to donate to FLH, drop off books and other donations at their warehouse or your local public library. Make sure to confirm that your local library participates and visit the FLH website for donation guidelines. You can visit FLH’s bookstore Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
1986 Booksale 1981 Booksale