Sandra Kalinec grew up an avid reader, and on Sunday, she and her granddaughter Story Kalinec shopped for books to quench their thirst for both educational materials and more stories.

Usually at the library, books are taken but must be returned. But on Sunday they were up for sale as the granddaughter-grandmother duo, of Victoria, skimmed through books of all genres at the Victoria Public Library during the presale of books for the 50th anniversary of the Friends of the Victoria Public Library Book Sale. As members, or friends, of the library, they had first dibs at fiction, non-fiction and any good read they could find during the presale.

Beginning Monday, the library will host a week of book sales open to the public.

Throughout the past year, virtual learning at school has forced Story to look at a screen far more than before the remote method of instruction began, her grandmother said. In that time, Story has since started homeschooling and much of that instruction comes from books.

On Sunday, it was time to stock up.

While thumbing through a bookshelf full of gently used books, Kalinec, 56, said she read often when she was young in Los Angeles County, California. Now with her granddaughter, they read “night and day.”

“These will be in the family for generations maybe,” she said.

The interest in reading is strong for the family, she said. It has even brought Story’s younger brother to tears when he realized he was done reading a math book and didn’t have anymore to read.

“It’s been hard with so much screen time and virtual learning,” Kalinec said. “So that’s why we’re here.”

Between book donations and discarded library books, there were about 600 boxes of books for sale, said Diana Sneed, who has been president of Friends of the Victoria Public Library since April.

Once the donations filled an entire room at the library, she said they had to stop accepting donations. But on May 24, the library will begin accepting book donations again for the next sale, which Sneed said she plans to host in September.

“We’re really excited about what the future holds for us,” she said of the goal to host three sales pre year in the future.

This week’s sale is the first since January 2020.

The money from the dollar or cheaper books, Sneed said, supports the library’s special projects and events.

While the Kalinecs continued to shop, a line of other Friends of the Library waited outside the Bronte Room in the library for their chance to begin their shopping adventure. Sunday’s rain didn’t deter many from the chance to find the cheap deals.

One longtime friend of the library, Mark Pesek, of Victoria, said his membership fee and the cost for a book at the presale is money well spent.

As another bookworm, he said he remembered a summer vacation when he was 13 years old when he read 50 books. He then stacked them up to be about as tall as he was for a photo.

Now, he has been a Friend of the Library for longer than he remembers.

“I try to support something like this rather than nothing,” he said.

To become a friend of the library, the membership fee is $10 and includes access to the presale, a newsletter and events at the library as well as a way to socialize with other readers, Sneed said. Friends of the Library are also welcome to volunteer at book sales.

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Geoff Sloan reports on business and breaking news in the Crossroads region. He received his Bachelor's in international relations with minors in journalism and French from Texas State University. Reach him at gsloan@vicad.com or @GeoffroSloan on Twitter.

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Business Reporter

Geoff Sloan reports on business and breaking news in the Crossroads region. He received his Bachelor's in international relations with minors in journalism and French from Texas State University. Reach him at gsloan@vicad.com or @GeoffroSloan on Twitter.

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