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VNSA Used Book Sale is celebrating 67 years in Phoenix

Book lovers are preparing for the 67th annual VNSA Used Book Sale in Phoenix. 

For the past year, the Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association has been going through donations and sorting items into 27 categories. 

Heather Rayner, the group’s president, said members have been sorting about a half a million books and related items.

"We end up filling nine semi-trailers full of books that are boxed and priced on pallets and then tables are all laid out and then they put their books out on display in the various categories. That’s about a 10-day process," said Rayner.

The sale will take place at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, Ag Center Building, 1826 W. McDowell Road on Feb. 10-11. Saturday sale hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gates open at 5 a.m. both days. Admission is free, but the fairgrounds charges $12 for parking. 

Proceeds benefit three local nonprofits: Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County, Duet: Partners in Health & Aging, and the Phoenix Conservatory of Music.

“It's not just raising money to support our charities — that's the main goal,” Rayner  said. “The other goal is to get the books that are donated to us back out there in the community they're reused, they're reloved, they’re reread.”

Some books start at $1, with like new paperback volumes at $3. Everything is half-price on Sunday except items in the rare and unusual category.  

“It’s economical — anyone, a family, with not a lot of money can come in and buy a lot of books,” Rayner said. “And that's the goal is that everybody can come and find books that mean something to them.”

Shoppers will receive a map of the warehouse identifying book categories. It can also be downloaded.

If you go

When: Feb. 10-11, 2024. Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Gates open at 5 a.m.
Where: Arizona State Fairgrounds, Ag Center Building, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix.
Cost: Free. $12 for parking at the fairgrounds.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.