Friends’ big book sale

It is difficult to stand out in the midst of all things unique, but the Friends of the Claremont Library bookstore prides itself on being able to do regardless. Located in the foyer of the Claremont public library, this bookstore offers a variety of used books at low prices to keep the tradition of reading tangible hardcover and paperback books alive in Claremont.


Friends of the Claremont Library is an organization that offers volunteer and financial support to enable projects that benefit the public library and are not paid for by the county. This includes dealing with incoming book donations, organizing book sales, manning the library bookstore, and most recently, redecorating an reorganizing the children’s section of the public library. 


Lanore Pearlman, President-elect of the Friends of the Claremont Library and Co-Chair of On The Same Page project, shares her love of books as she discusses the functions of the bookstore and the upcoming books sale.


Ms. Pearlman became a Friend of the Claremont Library 2 years ago, after she was recruited at a book sale. It was her love of books, however, that sealed the deal.


“I love big books and I love little books,” says Ms. Pearlman, who loves to admire the paper, photographs and prints that accompany a book. “You miss that with electronics,” she adds, as she recounts reading a book on her Kindle and not realizing it had pictures until she saw a physical copy of the text.


Connie Rodriguez, volunteer for the Friends of the Claremont Library, was also recruited at a book sale.


“It’s just a fun thing to do—it’s very enjoyable,” she says, inviting residents of Claremont to volunteer and share their love of books. In fact, volunteering for the Friends can be fun irrespective of whether you like to read or not. Charlie Rosenberg is a regular volunteer at the bookstore.


“I am not a book person and I don’t read a lot,” he said, adding, “but the people are fun.” Mr. Rosenberg even found a golf partner at the library.


Interested individuals can sign up to volunteer or become a member of the Friends at the upcoming Spring Book Sale. They can also come just to shop.


Ms. Rodriguez shares some initial anxieties: “People were concerned that, because of e-reading, books won’t come in.”


That was not the case. There are many avid readers in Claremont who donate books to the library. Moreover, as per Ms. Pearlman, many faithful patrons who purchase books from the bookstore donate them back for others to read.


Due to popularity of the bookstore—I myself have waited in line outside the library for it to open—the 3-day book sale will feature a variety of genres, in both paperback and hardcover. From fiction to art and history, “we have some beautiful books,” notifies Ms. Pearlman. She invites children, students, seniors and book lovers to come and browse through the plethora of books that will be on sale.


The Spring Book Sale will be held at the library this Thursday, April 18 through Saturday, April 20. Thursday’s sale runs from 4 to 7 p.m. library members only. However, non-members can come on Thursday and donate to become a member and benefit from having first pick. The general public is invited to attend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.


Apart from the annual Spring Book Sale, Friends of the Claremont Library hosts various other book sales and projects to keep Claremont residents captivated throughout the year. One of the much-awaited events held by the Friends is the biannual antiquarian book sale. Titled the Book Lover’s Book Sale, the antiquarian book sale will be held May 4, and will display some of the most coveted books collected by the bookstore.


“We don’t want people to think its only old books.” According to Ms. Pearlman, the antiquarian book sale will offer tons of “quirky books,” scarce small press publications, beautiful coffee table books, art books, literature, and books signed by authors. The book sale will also feature vintage children’s books, records and classic comics. For those who like to collect books, this is great opportunity to find rare texts and conversation starters.


The Friends believe that it is particularly important to target young patrons and integrate them in community projects and events.


“We hope to include the High School in all our projects,” Ms. Pearlman said, as she shifts her focus away from book sales and towards a project aimed at bringing all citizens of Claremont together.


 The On The Same Page project is an on-going annual project where the Friends pick a thought-provoking book that they hope all citizens of Claremont will read. This is followed by a series of events where the community comes to discuss the book and answer some of the questions it raises.


This year, the Friends have chosen Take A Candle Light A Room by Susan Straight. Copies of the book will be available at the Spring Book Sale. Discussions and events will be held in early October of this year, giving Claremont enough time to read the book and ponder over it this summer.


“Books are in-depth,” Ms. Pearlman said. “They are something in your hand and you can take them anywhere—they are beautiful.”


The Claremont public library is located at 208 N. Harvard Ave., Claremont, CA 91711. The Friends of the Claremont Library are accessible via email at, or via regular mail at P.O. Box 1618, Claremont, CA 91711.  For more information, visit


—Anam Sethi


Submit a Comment

Share This