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Annual VNSA Used Book Sale Raises Hundreds Of Thousands For Arizona Charities

For more than 60 years, the Arizona State Fairgrounds have become the temporary home to a different kind of fair: one that favors books over rides.

Inside the agriculture building are seemingly endless rows of tables stacked with at least a few hundred thousand used books. People peruse their favorite genres, then load shopping carts, suitcases and wheelbarrows full of discounted books at the Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association (VNSA) Used Book Sale.

It’s all for charity, as volunteer Pam Brown-Elwood explained.

"All the money stays here in the Valley for our two charities and a couple more supplements, and everybody walks out with a great value and ends up very happy," she said.

Last year, close to 15,000 people purchased 500,000 books and raised more than $340,000 for charity.

Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.