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Ottumwa Stories: Pages for Pennies Book Sale Draws a Crowd
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Ottumwa Stories: Pages for Pennies Book Sale Draws a Crowd

The line of bibliophiles stretches as far as the eye can see long before the Pages for Pennies book sale opens its doors. The three-day sale offers deep discounts on thousands of donated books, music and movies, and everyone is willing to stand in line to be the first ones inside.

A joint project for the Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library, Bridge View Center, Inc., and the Greater Ottumwa Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pages for Pennies accepts donations from March 18 through May 10. Many donors clean off their bookshelves every year with the sale in mind, knowing a portion of the proceeds will go directly to the library. Volunteers share their time to do all the collecting and sorting of donations, which increase in number every year.

All reading material is organized by category: mysteries, novels, romance, science fiction, self-help, cookbooks, children’s books, biographies, history, Iowa and religion, just to name a few. Take your time and walk around the tables, which take up a large portion of the Bridge View Center Expo Hall. Boxes and shopping carts are provided, and many book shoppers bring their own bags and baskets for their new collection.

As the Pages for Pennies name suggests, everything donated is priced to sell – hardcover books, puzzles, board games, CDs and DVDs for $2; paperback books and LPs for $1; and sheet music for just $.50. Sunday is half-price day, so plan to come back for a second trip, or possibly a third if necessary. It’s the amazing prices, and free admission to the event, that draws the crowd year after year.

This year’s sale will be open to the public in the Bridge View Center Expo Hall on May 17-19. Sale hours are Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come early, come often and come see what literary treasures you can find.

For more information, contact the Greater Ottumwa Convention & Visitors Bureau at 641-684-4303 or

Image credit: Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

More about events, books, booksale, sale, Ottumwa

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