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Weekly Specials, News & More

Bookstore News October 22 - 25

Friends of KPL is joining WMU and downtown Kalamazoo in celebrating Spirit Week, the lead up to WMU’s Homecoming weekend, October 24 – 26. To honor Western and to celebrate Spirit Week all college students (from any college) with college IDs will receive 10% off their entire purchase. Remember to identify yourself as a college student and present your ID. We look forward to seeing you this week!

This week, recent “Hot Picks” – the books that everybody is reading and talking about, have been reduced to $2.00 each. Come on in and buy a stack.

Bookstore News October 15 - 18

I’ve received several calls from people wondering about dates for upcoming sales. So grab your pencil and calendar or (more likely) your phone and record these dates.
     •The Annual Gift Book Sale begins the day after Thanksgiving (11/28/14) and continues until supplies are gone. In case you don’t know, the Gift Book Sale features wonderful, like-new, gift-quality books priced at a fraction of retail.
     •The Winter Bag Sale is scheduled for January 31, 2015, and will take place in the Van Deusen Room at Central Library

Bookstore News October 8-11

This week’s highlights:
      • A large selection of recently donated, gently-used, art books (gently priced)
      • A special on DVDs: buy one get the second free

Bookstore News October 1 - 4

Shh! This is a secret just for you. If you are reading this, you are eligible for a special sale.
We have a ton, a boatload, a massive, enormous amount of wonderful children’s books.
Most of those books are priced between 50¢ and $2.00.
For this week only, if you buy 10 or more children’s books and
say the secret words to the folks at the counter, you get 20% off!
Just to make it easy on you, you have a choice of 2 secret phrases. You may say either:
1) I get 20% off on these children’s books or
2) venta especial
Don’t forget, 10 or more children’s books will save you money this week
and make some child very happy!

Bookstore News September 24 - 27

This week I want to mention some items that are part of 3 areas in the bookstore: Collectibles, Best Selling Fiction, and DVDs. I want to give you a feel for what you can find in those areas this week..

• Uncle Wiggily and Friends – a beautiful copy, 1955
• Luke Karamazov by Conrad Hilberry
• The Dunwich Horror and Others by H. P. Lovecraft – a very nice hard cover

Best Selling Fiction:
• Invisible by James Patterson
• Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
• Love Letters by Debbie Macomber
• Missing by Harlan Coban

• Gravity
• Lincoln
• Paranormal Activity
• Frozen

Bookstore News Sept. 17 - 20

Civil War buff? We have a  cart full of some unusual and interesting Civil War books.

Fan of new fiction? We have lots of new “hot picks” type fiction from 2014, great reading and super cheap.

Friends Bookstore News Sept. 10 - 13

Select biographies are ½ off this week. You’ll find a great selection and the prices are ridicules – ridiculously low!

Bag-ofBooks Sale - Saturday

Our 3rd Bag-of-Books Sale of the year is this Saturday! You won’t want to miss this opportunity to shop from thousands of books divided by category and priced at only 10 cents each or $2:00 for a bag full!

The sale is at Central Library and starts at 9:00. Come early for the best selection. The doors close at 3:30 so don’t be late! The selection includes fiction & mystery, romance, science fiction, assorted nonfiction, children’s books and a variety of audio and visual materials. We hope to see you there!

September Bag-of-Books Sale(1)

I love having things to look forward to. The anticipation of something that I think will be fun or rewarding makes me happy. Here are two things that are coming up soon that I’m looking forward to. First, Labor Day, which translates into a three day weekend and that makes me very happy! Second, the September Bag-of-Books Sale. I love the Bag-of-Books Sale because it’s a fun (if super busy) day for us. I think you will love it because you can choose from a wonderful selection of books all priced at 10¢ each or you can buy a bagfull for only $2.00. Here is what you need to know:

     • DATE: Saturday, September 6, 2014
     • TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
     • PLACE: Central Library, 315 S. Rose Street

I encourage you to bring your own grocery-size sturdy bag. You can buy a brown paper bag from us for $2.00 (includes the books you fill it with) if you’d like. Reusable bags are less likely to split open and environmentally friendly too.

Books will be separated into the following categories: fiction & mystery, science fiction, romance, children’s books and assorted nonfiction. Audio/visual materials will also be available including: audio books, videos, DVDs, and CDs.

I hope to see you on the 6th.

Bookstore News August 20 - 13

I’m going to assume you know we have a great selection of books, mostly because I’ve been repeating that phrase every week, all summer. So, for right now, that’s a given. This week I want to tell you about two slightly unusual collections that we are spotlighting.

1) We have a good-sized collection of New Age books in very good condition. I looked up the definition of New Age because I always felt it was such an ambiguous phrase. Here’s the first definition I found: “a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture, with an interest in spirituality, mysticism, holism, and environmentalism”. That seems a good description of the books we have. I’ve also included non-western, alternative health books. If that sounds interesting to you, come take a look.

2) We received a large donation of piano music. We have scores for beginners, intermediate and advanced players. The collection includes popular music (mostly from the 60s) and an impressive selection of classical music. The 60s pop music is mostly sheet music and I enjoyed a very entertaining trip down memory lane while looking through it. We don’t often have a selection like this.

Bookstore News August 13 - 16

Our bookshelves are so full we hardly have room for display easels! We have so many books we’re considering selling them by the pound. (Not really) This, of course, means there is a lot to choose from. The selection continues to be wonderful. Carve out a little time in your week to do something just for you. And what could be better than spending some time pursuing rows and rows of books. Each book offers a new story, or new information, or maybe just the offer of an escape. Sound good? I hope we see you soon.

The next Bag-of-Books Sale is Saturday, September 6 at Central Library. Mark your calendars now.

Bookstore News August 6 - 9

We put together a cart of Michigan themed books this week. There's a lot of Michigan history including local histories, books on Michigan birds and trees, environmental issues and nature, also books about famous Michiganders and books by Michigan authors.

We're also continuing to put out a lot of general history books. If you're a history buff plan to stop down and check these books out.

Bookstore News July 30 - August 2

So many books – so little time! That is the story of my life. Truthfully I could fill a box with books that came in this week that I want for my own. The donations have been superior. When you can buy wonderful books at one or two dollars apiece it’s easy to quickly have more books than time, but what a glorious problem.  I want you to know that I didn’t fill a box because that would just be greedy and because I want you to come in and be bedazzled by all the wonderful choices!

Bookstore News July 23 - 26

We’ve been having so much fun with the “Where’s Waldo in Kalamazoo” game participants. I think we have had some of the cutest and smartest kids in Kalamazoo visit our store in the last couple of weeks. You still have time to start your search. If you don’t already have a Waldo passport, pick yours up at the bookstore. Get your passport stamped at the store and in the Children’s Room in the library.

In the spotlight this week:
• Art
• Poetry
• History and Military History
All VHS videos ½ off – this means single videos are only 50¢

We added lots of new books to most categories. The selection is great!

Bookstore News July 16 - 19

Specials this week include:
• A great collection of military history books and magazines
• Special collections of art, hobbies and gardening books
• All vhs videos ½ off – most only 50¢

Bookstore News July 9 - 12

It’s an especially good week to come browse at the bookstore if your reading choice is nonfiction. We received a large donation of really nice books, mostly nonfiction; many are history, science, sociology, and travel books. In addition, we pulled together a collection of art books that’s varied, interesting and priced right. We look forward to seeing you.

Waldo is in the bookstore starting July 1


Where’s Waldo in Kalamazoo? Waldo is hiding in 25 local businesses in Kalamazoo

3-2-1-HUNT! Pick up your FIND WALDO LOCAL passport here at the bookstore (or at any of 25 other participating businesses listed in the passport) and start searching for Waldo. Win prizes when you collect stamps or signatures from at least 10 different businesses, win even more with 20 or more. For more information click on the following link:

Look for this guy (left)


The store will be closed Saturday afternoon

Long time Friend’s volunteer and member of the Friends Board, Ann Schwendener, died last Saturday. After learning of her diagnosis and hearing the prognosis for 6 months, I thought she’d pass in the fall. I dreaded the fall, but she went on the first day of summer. For some weird reason that gives me the tiniest bit of consolation. I don’t know why. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted her around for as long as possible, and I already miss her. But for me, the first day of summer is a happy time, a good time to do anything.

Ann volunteered with the Friends for many, many years. She spoke at this organizations 50th anniversary celebration and shared memories of the early years. Since she died, I’ve looked for a record of when she started volunteering here and I can’t find one. Of course I regret that. Maybe someone else knows.

In addition to working in the bookstore and at book sales, she was on the board and was the treasurer for many years. Ann was one of 3 or 4 people who shared the collective memory of so much of the early days of FKPL: she knew the history because she’d been part of it.

Ann was an outstanding woman, an amazing person. She really lived, she experienced so much, enjoyed so much, and right up to the last year she never seemed to slow down.

We’re closing the store on Saturday afternoon so that those who knew her can attend her memorial service. We will close 1:00.

Bookstore News June 25 - 28

The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television. ~Andrew Ross, author

Our small bookstore is filled with ideas to contemplate, facts to learn, and stories to immerse yourself in.

I want to share a list with you of the categories of books we have available in the bookstore. Lots of food for thought.

Architecture, Art, Biography, Black Studies, Business, CDs (music), Children’s, Civil War, Classics, Collectibles, Computers, Cooking, Crafts, Diet, Drama, Education, Fiction, Fitness, Food, Foreign Language, Gardening, Geography, Government, Health, History, Hobbies, How To, Humor, Language, Law, Literature, Marriage, Mathematics, Medicine, Michigan, Military, Miscellaneous, Music, Mystery, Native American, Nature, New Age, New Arrivals, Occult, Parenting, Philosophy, Poetry, Psychology, Reading, Reference, Religion, Romance, Science, Science Fiction, Self Help, Seniors, Sociology, Speaking, Speech, Sports, Spy, Travel, True Stories, Westerns, Women’s Issues, Writing, Young Adult Fiction

We welcome you to come in and browse.

Bookstore News June 18 - 21

I just walked through the store, giving it the once over before I go home for the night, checking to make sure that things will look good when we open for business tomorrow. At the same time I was trying to decide what to write about in this weekly bookstore blog. Voila, I thought why not write what I see? Here are a few titles that caught my eye.

   • Local author Margean Gladysz’s book – A Spy on the Bus
   • Local author Mark Nepo’s book - Unlearning Back to God
   • The Social Animal by David Brooks
   • Annie’s Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg
   • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
   • I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark (April 2014)

None of these books cost more than $2.50. Good books and great prices; it’s a winning combination.

Bookstore News, June 11 - 14

I saw lots of familiar faces Saturday at the Bag-of-Books Sidewalk Sale. What a day! I often say this is as much a community event as a sale. There’s an air of excitement and anticipation while people are waiting for the yellow ribbon to be cut and the sale to start. It almost feels like a party. On the other hand it’s serious business for many folks too; they come prepared with multiple bags, a bit of patience, and the resolve to hit the book bargain jackpot! The Bag-of-Books Sidewalk Sale during June Jubilee weekend signals the beginning of summer. I hope you were able to stock up on lots of great books for your summertime reading at our sale.

Spotlights in the store this week include: gardening and cooking.

Bag-of-Books Sale - Satuday, June 7

The Bag-of-Books Sale is the best deal in town for book lovers. Great selection at an amazing price! You can fill a grocery-size bag full of books and pay only $2.00! This annual sale is our biggest sale of the year. It takes place the first Saturday in June during the June Jubilee weekend. Here’s the important information:

  • Saturday, June 7
  • Central Library, 315 S. Rose – under the portico 
  • 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Please feel free to bring your own reusable grocery-bag size tote.
You will find: fiction & mystery, romance, science fiction, assorted nonfiction, children’s books, audio books, movies, music, and more. There will be more than 10,000 items!
Call 553-7820 with questions..


Bookstore News May 14 - 17

 This week it looks like May showers will be bringing June flowers. That means it’s a great time to rest up in preparation for the gardening and lawn work that’s just ahead. You might as well be reading a good book while you’re resting! We have a couple of specials you might want to check out. This week you’ll find:

• Select hard cover mysteries priced $1.00 each and these select books are Buy One Get One Free
• A really interesting selection of Michigan books: histories, biographies, nature books, Michigan authors, and more

Bookstore News May 7 - 10

The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television. ~Andrew Ross, author

Our small bookstore is filled with ideas to contemplate, facts to learn, and stories to immerse yourself in.

I want to share a list with you of the categories of books we have available in the bookstore. Lots of food for thought.
Architecture, Art, Biography, Black Studies, Business, CDs (music), Children’s, Civil War, Classics, Collectibles, Computers, Cooking, Crafts, Diet, Drama, Education, Fiction, Fitness, Food, Foreign Language, Gardening, Geography, Government, Health, History, Hobbies, How To, Humor, Language, Law, Literature, Marriage, Mathematics, Medicine, Michigan, Military, Miscellaneous, Music, Mystery, Native American, Nature, New Age, New Arrivals, Occult, Parenting, Philosophy, Poetry, Psychology, Reading, Reference, Religion, Romance, Science, Science Fiction, Self Help, Seniors, Sociology, Speaking, Speech, Sports, Spy, Travel, True Stories, Westerns, Women’s Issues, Writing, Young Adult Fiction.

We welcome you to come in and browse.

Bookstore News April 30 - May 3

There are a couple of special collections that I’d like to bring to your attention this week. We have a good size collection of what we call True Stories. This includes true crime and true adventure stories. You’ll find some pretty exciting accounts of true life dramas. We also have a very interesting collection of African American themed books, including stories about famous African Americans, African American Art books, and other African American studies and history. Finally, we have the 24 volume set, of the New York Edition of The Novels and Tales of Henry James. I have seen this set online for over a thousand dollars. This set is in very good condition, although the previous owner stamped his name on the top edge of the books, and we are asking $150.00.

Annual Meeting and Luncheon April 30

How did the Upjohn and Gilmore families come to settle in Kalamazoo and how did their common beliefs result in the establishment of the Air Zoo and the Gilmore Car Museum?

Former KPS teacher Richard Cahow will answer those questions Wednesday, April 30, as the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library (FKPL). The luncheon meeting will convene at noon with a short business meeting at the Ladies’ Library Association at 333 S. Park Street.

Cahow, who received his BS and Masters degrees in History from Western Michigan University, taught in the Kalamazoo Public School system for 40 years, as well as teaching and consulting at WMU and becoming a champion of the archives there. He is the recipient of multiple recognitions for Excellence in Education and was named Outstanding Educator by the Historical Society of Michigan in 2011.

Cahow currently trains docents at the Air Zoo, where he has been a volunteer since 1979 and is working at the Gilmore Car Museum to revive the education program. He has been a volunteer there since 2010.

The luncheon, which includes appetizer, chicken rice soup, salad and kaiser roll, dessert, and beverage, costs $16 and begins at 12:00 p.m. Checks should be made payable to FKPL and are due by April 23. If you would like a vegetarian option please let us know that by April 23 also.

Free parking is available in the parking lot on the southeast corner of Lovell and Park streets, right by the Ladies’ Library Association.

Bookstore News April 9 - 12

Classics and literature are in the spotlight this week. We received a very large donation with many classics mostly in literature, but also in philosophy, and religion. The literature includes novels, criticisms, and biographies of authors. Many of these are older books but still in good condition and if you are a lover of literature I think the titles will surprise and please you. This collection includes some unusual things that we don’t often see and as usual you can’t beat the prices. If you’re a fan a Faulkner you will definitely want to check this out.

Bookstore news April 2 - 5

April is National Poetry Month. Beginning in 1996, each April we take time to recognize and celebrate poets and poetry. In 1996, President Clinton commemorated poets saying “Their creativity and wealth of language enrich our culture and inspire a new generation of Americans to learn the power of reading and writing at its best." This week we pulled together a really nice selection of children’s poetry including classics by Silverstein, Stevenson, Tomie dePaola, and Judith Viorst. You’ll also find rhymes, tongue twisters and even poetry by Dean Koontz. There’s a little bit of everything. It’s a fun collection that presents lots of opportunity for reading out loud with the child of your choice.

Bookstore News March 26 - 29

This is the last full week of our fiscal year. Next Tuesday is the beginning of our new year. The long, cold, winter was a little tough on sales. If you haven’t been in for a while or if you’re planning on coming in soon; how about this week? Help us finish up the year with a great week. I promise you’ll find lots to make you happy. We have lots of new things in almost every category. I look forward to seeing you this week!

Bookstore News March 19 - 22

 We received a donation of some wonderful needlework magazines. Yarn forward and Interweave Knits include knitting and crochet patterns, colorful pictures and interesting articles. Quilting Arts Magazine is a high quality magazine with inspired quilt designs and Belle Armoire – Art to Wear has fantastic designer quality sewing projects. These magazines are priced between 25¢ and $1.00. These are just a few of the fine needlework publications we have available. There are loads of great ideas and lovely, creative projects in these magazines.

 Do you remember the Landmark Book series? The books are true stories about American History and were written in the 1950s and 60s. We have a nice collection of these books. I know many homeschoolers like them. These books are not in “collectible”” condition, buy they are good solid reading copies, mostly without dust jackets. At $2.00 each it’s a great deal.


Bookstore News March 12 - 15

Donations have picked up and that means the selection in the store is better than ever. We replenished our shelves and you’ll find lots of great new things from which to choose. There are a couple of spotlights I’d like to share with you.

This week you can choose from a small but nice selection of The Great Courses by the Teaching Company, on DVD including: The Human Body: How We Fail and How We Heal, Great Religions of the World, The Life and Work of Mark Twain, you can choose from 14 different interesting topics.

And, for the younger crowd we have a nice selection of books from The American Girl Library. There are books about Addy, Samantha, Molly and the rest, as well as American Girl books on manners, math, boys, horses and more. If you know someone that likes American Girl books, we have a good selection at a great price.

Bookstore News March 5 - 8

March is National Reading Month. The National Education Association began Reading Month to encourage reading particularly with and to young children. We have so many wonderful children’s books to choose from. You can find a book for any age child, board books to teen fiction, it’s all here. The selection is great and the price is too! Most books cost about $1.00. Come down and see us and make it a family outing. We have books for everyone.

If you are a fan of classical music you won’t want to miss coming in this week. We have a large collection of classical music on CDs. I’m not an expert but I’ve been told that the selection will put a smile on your face if you love classical music.

Bookstore News February 26 - March 1

“Standing there, staring at the long shelves crammed with books, I felt myself relax and was suddenly at peace.”
― Helene Hanff, Q's Legacy

I love this quote. Come on down for a little “bookstore therapy.” As always we have lots of new things to choose from this week.

Bookstore News February 19 - 22

Recently a customer stopped me in the store to tell me how much he enjoyed shopping at the bookstore. His comments stayed with me and I thought I would share them with you. He remarked that what he likes about the bookstore is that it combines the best of two worlds for him. He loves ”the thrill of the hunt,” never knowing what treasure he might discover, finding unusual subjects and titles or maybe a book read and loved many years ago, these are the things he feels create the essence of a good used bookstore, but he also really appreciates being able to shop in a store that is a well-organized, bright, space that also contains a great selection of many current titles and best sellers. I have to say I agree with him.

This week: The BOGO special continues on select popular authors and in response to your requests, we now have a selection of audio books on tape back in the store.

Bookstore News February 12 - 15

Buy one get one free this week on select recent titles (2012 and 2013) by popular authors. Authors include: Barbara Taylor Bradford, Mary Higgins Clark, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, Iris Johansen, Jonathon Kellerman, Fern Michaels, James Paterson, and Stuart Woods. Such a deal!

Our featured authors this week are J.A. Jance, Karen Kingsbury, and Tracie Peterson. We feature an author when we have a big collection of their work. Karen Kingsbury and Tracie Petersen are popular Christian Fiction writers. If you enjoy this genre, come peruse our extensive Christian Fiction section.

We also have a large selection of “Inspirational Romance” in large print. This is something we don’t see very often so if this is your cup of tea, come see us this week.

Bookstore News February 5 - 8

We put out lots of great new stuff this week. Check out Science, History, Biography and Psychology / Self-Help especially for interesting new titles. We have 2 featured categories this week. You’ll find a cart of Religion books in the center aisle filled with a diverse and unusual collection of books on religion. The other category of books we’re featuring is cookbooks, but not just any cookbooks. This week we pulled together a collection of all the Spiral-Bound Church and Community Fundraiser Cookbooks we could find. These cookbooks, priced at $1.00 each often contain regional specialties and in the older ones you may find long-forgotten recipes from days gone by. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Bookstore News January 29 - 31

This is the last week of the first month of 2014. It is time to evaluate the progress made on month-old New Year’s resolutions. Or maybe not. Perhaps you didn’t make any resolutions this year. Possibly you’ve been considering what it is you really want to resolve to do. Let me offer 10 Friendly Resolutions for you to consider. These resolutions are easy to keep, they’ll save you money, and you will be helping yourself and others. Here they are:

1. Tell two friends about the bookstore
2. Shop at the Bag-of-Books Sales in:
3. Shop at the bookstore once a month
4. Bring a friend to the bookstore on one of your visits
5. Read the bookstore’s blog to learn more about weekly specials
6. Renew, and consider upgrading, your membership in the Friends of KPL
7. Invite a friend to join FKPL
8. Attend the annual meeting of Friends
9. Try a new author –at these prices you can afford to take a chance
10. Mark the day after Thanksgiving on your calendar as the public opening of our annual Gift Book Sale. (You will have already had a sneak preview on Tuesday afternoon before Thanksgiving if you are a member.)

Bag-of-Books Sale - Saturday 1/25/14

The Friends Winter Bag-of Books Sale is this Saturday. The selection is great. The people are friendly. The prices are fantastic. You won’t want to miss it. It’s this Saturday (1/25/14) from 9:00 – 3:30 at the library. There will be many thousands of books separated by category, all priced at 10¢ each or $2.00 for a grocery-size bag filled right to top. I encourage you to bring you own sturdy reusable bags. Come early for the best selection or later for more leisurely shopping. Call (269) 553-7820 with questions.

Bag-of-Books Sale Coming Soon!

It looks like it’s going to be a long cold winter. It seems like it’s going to be the kind of winter that requires a lot of good books to keep me happy and contented while I wait for warmer weather. If you feel the way I do you’ll be glad to know that January 25th is the first Bag-of-Books Sale of 2014. Here is the important information that you’ll need to know. 

     • Sale Date: Saturday, January, 25, 2014
     • Location: Central Library, 315 S. Rose Street
     • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
     • What: Books separated by category, including: fiction & mystery (hard cover and paperback), science fiction, romance, nonfiction, audiobooks, also videos and CDs.
     • Price: 10¢ a book or $2.00 for as many books as you can fit in a grocery-size bag.
     • What else: We encourage you to bring your own sturdy bag, but you can purchase a brown paper grocery bag from us for $2.00 and fill it with books. 

Call us if you have any question at 553-7820.

Bookstore News January 8 - 11

The Friends Bookstore is opening on Wednesday 1/8/14 after being closed for a week. Our volunteers spent that week making some changes that we hope will improve your shopping experience.
We’d like to welcome you back to our new and improved bookstore with a couple great sales.

SALE - January 8 – 11

All Trade Edition Fiction (larger paperback) is 50% OFF*
All Premium Edition Fiction (bigger than Mass-Market & smaller than Trade) is 50% OFF

*excludes books on “New Arrivals” bookshelf