Carolyn Bogott: For the love of reading

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

An amazing 30,000 estimated books were donated for this spring’s Friends of the Library used book sale and the person in charge of sorting and organizing all of that bounty, along with a co-chair and many volunteers, was Rose McCarthy.  She absolutely adores this project.  Her eyes shine as she says that connecting people with books, especially children, brings her great satisfaction.  She has always loved books and reading. And what might look like hard work to some of us, Rose sees as “playing with books,” a completely enjoyable task for her.  During this year’s sale, she worked six-to-ten-hour days for nearly two weeks. Working with her were “just the best volunteers” who put in over 365 hours.

Rose’s background was as a farm wife, with all the myriad of tasks that entailed from book work, to driving tractor, to running for supplies when needed. As with most farm folk, she knows how to organize her time and to manage whatever life brings.

“We plan. God laughs,”  she said.

Email newsletter signup

This resiliency has served her well in this volunteer undertaking. Rose “apprenticed” by co-chairing the sale for eight years with Peggy Keener. Rose says Peggy believed Rose could do anything and “If Peggy had confidence in you, you just did it!”

During the year, Rose is notified by the library if books are donated and need to be picked up.  She sees that they are collected and stored for the sale, formerly in her garage, but now a storage unit is rented by the Friends of the Library for this purpose.  The only books kept over from the sale are children’s books which Rose makes available to children for free. This year there were 50 boxes of children’s books remaining which she will put out on tarps one fine day in early summer, free for the taking.

The other books remaining from the sale were given to a used bookstore in Rochester, who donates many books to little free libraries and other places. Older books that may have some higher value, as well as signed editions, are set aside during the sorting process and Rose sells them on eBay.

Now that the 2024 sale is over, Rose has set the date for next year’s sale for Friday, April 4 through Sunday, April 6, 2025. And she has to  sort, update and file the many signs used at the sale.  And just maybe she will have time to read some of her personal stacks of books which are so numerous that she says she’ll need to live to be 500 to get them all read! 

Thank you, Rose McCarthy, for your dedication to this wonderful project which enriches so many lives in our community!

For more information about the Austin Branch of AAUW, contact Sue Grove  or Carolyn Bogott The American Association of University Women, now AAUW, is open to anyone who has completed a two-year degree or beyond.  AAUW welcomes men who support our objectives and there are student memberships available. AAUW has been empowering women since 1881.  We support equity and education for women.  Scholarships are offered, as well as help in litigation in cases dealing with sex discrimination.  We are the most important and highly respected research and lobbying organization dealing with women’s issues such as equal opportunity and job equality.