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A bookworm’s heaven: annual book fair

Katie Goldenberg

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This week, students and faculty dropped by the annual Middle Division & Upper Division Book Fair to peruse and purchase from shelves of gently used books and toys donated by community members.

With this year’s theme of “One World, One Book,” the fair’s proceeds and leftover books will be donated to organizations and communities in need around the country.
In the past, money raised by the fair and the accompanied bake sale were given to Katz Library, but this year’s proceeds will fund libraries affected by the recent natural disasters to help them regain footing, Middle & Upper Division Chair of the Library Department Caroline Bartels said.

With community support, the fair and bake sale usually raise approximately 7,000 to 9,000 dollars, she said.

Other organizations, such as Books Behind Bars, which supplement prison libraries with literature, and Word Up, a community bookstore that relies on external donations, will receive physical copies of the extra books from the event, Bartels said.

Haylen Rosberger (12) will take some of the leftover books to rural communities within in Bhutan.

“Reading is something everyone can connect with,” co-Chair of the Book Fair Amanda Salzhauer P ‘18, ‘20, ‘23 said. “It’s so important within the Horace Mann community, and we want to help other communities as well.”

With preparations that begin in September, Bartels and committee members plan the event in a committee session at the start of the year; as the event approaches, they partake in sorting sessions to group books and flea market items into categories as well as a set-up day to prepare the rotunda for shoppers, Salzhauer said.

The event is different from a traditional school book fair in that it is entirely organized and operated by the school community as opposed to an outside company, Bartels said.
Laura Bae (10) loves the fair because of its low prices and variety of good selections. “Obviously you’re not going to find everything you’re looking for, but if you walk in there with an open mind and 10 dollars or so then you have a huge possibility of finding something that you could enjoy investing a lot of time in.”

“I like the books one of my history teachers assigned me so I made sure to check out their recommendations,” Andre Dang (11) said.

“This is one of my favorite events of the whole year,” Middle Division English Department Chair Drew Samuels said. “Everyone’s attention is turned to reading, and it’s inspiring as an English teacher and lover of books to see all the wonderful books donated.”

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A bookworm’s heaven: annual book fair