DENHAM SPRINGS — Jennifer Esser carried a box full of gently used, carefully selected books Saturday through the Denham Springs-Walker Branch of the Livingston Parish Library.
Esser brought her son, Kaeden Esser, 6, with her to the sale to select from an assortment of more than 2,000 donated and older library books — of all genres and for all ages — to help raise money for library programs.
“I have two autistic kids, and it’s the cheapest way to get books for my family,” Esser said.
“It helps financially, and my husband is in printing so we try to support print as well,” she said.
“I try to support the library,” Esser said. “It’s a safe place for them (her children) to go.”
Esser also chose several books for herself, including an autobiography, a Christmas book and a book about special needs children.
For her older son, Kirin, 9, Esser said she chose books about science.
“I try and get books for whatever their interests are,” she said.
“It’s silly to go and pay $7 for a book that he reads in two hours and wants to keep,” Esser said.
The book sale, sponsored by Friends of the Livingston Library System, is aimed at raising money to pay for library services, such as the system’s summer reading program, said past secretary and volunteer Mary Lynn Womack. The book sales, she said, are held about every three months both at the Denham Springs-Walker and Watson library branches.
“The money goes back into the library,” Womack said.
In recent years, book sale proceeds have paid for new bike racks, puppets for the puppet shows and summer reading program incentives and prizes for youth.
On Friday, members of the Friends of the Livingston Library System got first choice of the thousands of books on hand, Womack said. The group raised about $300 from member sales. The books, Womack said, ranged in price from 25 cents to $1.
Womack said anyone is welcome to join the group. Currently, the group has about 90 members. It costs $10 to become a sponsor and $50 to become a lifetime member, she said.
As more and more people drifted in and out of Saturday’s sale, Ila Clark searched for books to please her 88-year-old mother and her 2-year-old granddaughter.
“My mother needs large print books so I am here for them,” Clark said. “She passed the love of reading on to me and I try to do the same for my granddaughter.”
Clark called her granddaughter “a little sponge” and was optimistic that Saturday’s sale would keep her granddaughter supplied both at her home and at her granddaughter’s house.
“I know I’m always going to find something good here,” she said.
Brandon Bull, 11, was on a mission to find that perfect book when he came across “Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix.”
Brandon has already read the first two books in the Harry Potter series, he said.
In addition to hosting book sales throughout the year, each library branch sells donated books, which are located on several book racks behind the receptionist’s desk, Womack said.
To become a member of the Friends of the Livington Library System, log on to the library’s website at http://main.mylpl.info.