Volunteers gear up for the biggest book sale in the Princeton region

Marianne Hooker, a Bryn Mawr College alumna, sets up books for the book sale this week. Hooker also coordinates the efforts of the more than 125 people who volunteer year-round to make the sale a success.

The annual Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale funds college scholarships

Volunteers were hard at work on Sunday unpacking and organizing thousands of books for the annual Bryn Mawr-Wellsley Book Sale.

Founded 91 years ago, the Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale is a nonprofit group that sells donated books to provide college scholarships for area students.  This year the sale will be held at Stuart Country Day School March 22 through 26. Stuart Country Day School is located at 1200 Stuart Road.

“We have tens of thousands of books in excellent condition to choose from,” says Kathy Morris, president of the book sale. “Of note are the private collections of famed Princeton University historian James M. McPherson and best-selling author Richard Preston. Many of these are signed or have the author’s bookplate. We also will be selling an unusual collection of books about the Civil War, written from a Southern perspective.”

Buyers will find tens of thousands of top-quality used books sorted into 63 categories, plus special finds in the rare book room, called Collector’s Corner. Most hardbacks are $3, with higher-value books priced individually. Small paperbacks and children’s books start at $1. You can pay by cash, credit cards, and local checks (with ID).

The opening day attracts rare and secondhand book dealers from across the eastern seaboard and beyond, including buyers from as far away as Illinois, West Virginia, and Maine. They pay $30 per person to get first dibs on the most collectible volumes. All other days, admission is free.

Editor’s note: Donations of books for the annual sale will be accepted again in April. The book sale will have a new drop-off site located at 812 State Road.

2023 Bryn Mawr Wellsley Book Sale schedule

Wednesday, March 22 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $30. All other days, entrance is free.
Thursday, March 23 – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fri, March 24 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sat, March 25 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sun, March 26 – Box Day ($5 or $10 per box depending on size) 10 a.m. to noon
The Collector’s Corner rare book room is closed on the final day.

Boxes of books to be unpacked and sorted await volunteers.
The rare book room at the book sale at Stuart Country Day School.
Unusual, rare, and signed books on a wide variety of topics can be found in the Collector’s Corner.
Volunteers unpacked thousands of books for the sale on Sunday.
The book sale has a large section for old and unusual books this year, including many children’s books. There is also a very large children’s book section for the sale this year.
Two gyms are loaded with thousands of books volunteers unpacked and organized on Sunday.
Books are organized by general topic or type of book. The book sale also offers CDs, DVDs, and ephemera (maps, some printed sports memorabilia, notecards, bookmarks, and more).