As in previous years, the line of people waiting for the Friends of the Library book sale to start Thursday wound out into the parking lot well before the doors opened at 5:30 p.m.

Once inside, customers were serious about buying books, snatching up $1,768 worth in the first few hours almost half of the total earned during last years entire four-day sale.

Even more astounding is the comparison between the amount raised Thursday and the $112 total raised at the first book sale in 1972.

This is the 29th year for the book sale, which features an estimated 20,000 books covering almost every topic in print. All the books are arranged in order, with signs making it easy to locate different subjects.

On Thursday, smiling customers were toting away boxes and bags full of books. Many shoppers are regulars from earlier years.

One couple here tonight comes from Burbank, Calif., every year for the book sale, said cashier Mike Thornton, a past president of the library support group.

Other shoppers were children heading for the large childrens section and enthusiastically making choices. One home-schooling mother with several children in tow left with three large boxes full of school books.

Cyndi Braun and daughter Sarah required a dolly to load their purchases into their station wagon.

Friday morning was no different, with the line out into the parking lot prior to the 10 a.m. opening.

New books were added to the tables and shelves and the group will continue to accept donations throughout the sale, said president Sherri Scott.

We have four more cartons to put out this morning, Scott said Friday.

The library gets first choice, she said, explaining that if the library inventory doesnt include any of the donated books, they are saved to become part of the books available for library patrons.

All other books are placed on the appropriate sale tables, she said.

The book sale will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today (May 26) and Sunday, with many bargains still available. Book prices start at 25 cents and book collections and reference books are $5 for a whole set.

All money raised is used to support library projects and purchase equipment not otherwise available.