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Bookstore News December 28 - 31

Hopefully everyone is relaxed and rejuvenated from a little time off work or recovering while back at work from the hectic holiday activities. The New Year is just around the corner and that brings with it an opportunity for more festivities. If a little downtime sounds good to you about now, stop by and pick out a good book to read. There are few things more relaxing than a comfy chair and an enjoyable read. We are open our normal business hours this week Wednesday through Saturday.

All of us here at The Friends of KPL want to wish you all Happy New Year.

Holiday Store Hours Dec. 21 - 23

The store is open this week Wednesday through Friday, but closed on Saturday.

Here are some last minute gift ideas – books from our Gift Quality Book Sale, including many ‘like new – gift quality’ books on a wide range of topics and for all ages; Gift Certificates – any gift certificate of $5.00 or greater comes with a free hand made holiday gift card; books, CDs, DVDs at our wonderful bargain prices.

Happy Holidays!

Bookstore News December 14 - 17

Have you been downtown lately? I hope you consider doing some of your holiday shopping in downtown Kalamazoo. The mall is lovely at this time of year and there are interesting stores and restaurants that might surprise you if you haven’t been here for a while. The Holly Jolly Trolley is a convenience and an adventure for young and old, and runs between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Wednesday through Saturday. And of course the Friends Bookstore is located in downtown Kalamazoo. We still have a wonderful selection of gift quality books, and plenty of great books that (even though they aren’t part of our “gift quality” selections) will make great presents, tons of fantastic children’s books, CDs, DVDs and don’t forget Gift Certificates. Just two more weeks till Christmas. We hope to see you soon.

Bookstore News December 7 - 10

A gift certificates from the Friends Bookstore is a gift that really maximizes the bang you’ll get for your buck. A five dollar gift certificate has the potential to buy ten paperback books or five, like-new, hardcover books! That’s a lot of gift for $5.00. During the holiday season we have a special gift certificate offer. You will receive a free, beautiful, handmade card with the purchase of a gift certificate for $5.00 or more. These cards are really lovely and were made by our own resident artist, Linda Kubinski. Consider a gift certificate – it’s the perfect gift for a book lover.

Many gift quality books are still available, but you’ll want to shop soon while supplies last.

We have a large selection of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. These uplifting and inspiring books make a thoughtful gift.

Bookstore News November 30 - December 3

The annual Holiday Gift Book Sale began when the store doors opened last Friday morning at 10:00. People were patiently waiting in line to discover the bargains inside. Based on the comments and the piles of books bought, I can assure you people were happy with what they found. We still have hundreds of mint condition, gift quality books available at a fraction of retail price. Of course, you don't need to limit your gift book buying to only the books in this special sale, our shelves hold many great gift giving opportunities.

Gift Book Sale Begins Friday, November 25, 2011


Black Friday, as it is now known, is the traditional beginning of the holiday gift-buying season. At the Friends Bookstore we kick off the season with the annual Gift Book Sale that people return to year after year. I’ll warn you the bookstore will be a busy place at 10:00 on Friday morning, but folks are always cheerful as they begin to find wonderful gifts at extraordinary prices. In addition to all manner of books for all ages, you will also find DVDs, CDs, games, and don’t forget the stocking stuffer books. So, add it all up – wonderful, mint condition books; prices at a fraction of retail cost; cheerful people; and holiday shopping in beautiful downtown Kalamazoo – that’s the way to kick off your holiday shopping! The sale begins on Friday and continues while supplies last. There should be plenty of fantastic books left on Saturday and for weeks to come.

Bookstore News November 16 - 19

Publishers have tried to help fiction readers by assigning genre classifications to various styles and types of stories. There are at least nine major fiction genres currently used in contemporary fiction. The major fiction genres include:  action-adventure, crime, detective, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, western, and inspirational. In addition to these major genres there are an increasing number of subgenres including classifications like paranormal romance, leisure horror, and culinary mysteries. Within the mystery genre there are bookstore mysteries, knitting mysteries, and cozy mysteries just to name a few. This week in the bookstore we are featuring inspirational fiction. Inspirational fiction is often defined as faith-based fiction and some of the better known authors include Janette Oke, Karen Kingsbury, Beverly Lewis, and Wanda Brunstetter. We have a nice selection. You might even find the perfect Christmas gift for an inspirational fiction reader you know.

Speaking of Christmas, we have a cart full of holiday books. We have stories, cookbooks, and crafting books for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza. We are also continuing to put out new biographies and memoirs. If you enjoy biographies be sure and check out the biography spotlight again this week for new titles.

The annual Gift Book Sale is on Friday, November 25 – the day after Thanksgiving. This is the sale you don’t want to miss! Gift quality books at a fraction of retail price. These books truly are quality books that you will be proud to give as gifts. The sale starts Friday at 10:00 and continues until supplies are gone. Plan to come on Friday, but if you can’t don’t worry there will still be a good selection on Saturday. Just don’t miss this sale!

Bookstore News November 9 - 12

According to the website there are many reasons to read biographies. The list includes eight reasons, but my favorite are: to find out about fascinating people, to learn history, and to get the dirt. We have such a diverse and interesting collection of biographies, you will certainly be able to find something to read that will do one or all of those things. Some of the interesting characters you can read about include: Alberto Santos-Dumont inWings of Madness Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight, the story of a Brazilian aviation pioneer that built the first airplane in Europe and lead a fascinating life in Paris devoted to promoting and advancing flight, but ultimately was driven mad by the destruction capability of the flying machines used in WWI. You might enjoy reading about Helle Nice, who was called “the fastest women in the world” in the 1930’s. The book Bugatti Queentells the story of the woman that was a ballerina, a cabaret dance, a nude model, and also shattered records as a woman race car driver and placed in numerous grand prix in France as well as in races in the United States and Brazil. You might want to read about Napoleon’s exile on Saint Helena in The Black Room at Longwood or about Picasso through Marina Picasso’s eyes in Picasso My Grandfather. We have so many wonderful biographies to choose from. Come in and look them over. I’m pretty sure you’ll find something you’ll enjoy.

Bookstore News November 2 - 5

The holiday season is about to begin. Thanksgiving is in three weeks. Following that preparations begin in earnest for Christmas and Hanukkah. We have a small but interesting collection of Thanksgiving- themed books; many are children’s books about the holiday. We have a much larger – in fact a very large – collection of Christmas-themed books and a few Hanukkah and Kwanza books. The Christmas collection includes a wonderful selection of craft books, holiday cookbooks, holiday stories for children and adults, DVD and VHS videos, and great Christmas music on CDs. These items are really priced to sell; most books are only 50¢ or $1.00.

Bookstore News October 26 - 29

Multitasking refers to the ability of an individual to perform more than one task at time. The term became popular in the late 1990’s and seems to have become a way of life for many of us today. Recently, multitasking has been given somewhat of a bad rap and some researchers are even advising against doing it. But I have to come out in favor of it in at least one instance. I am pretty sure that no matter how long I live I will never be able to read all the books I would like to.  Enter – audio books. I love being able to “read” a book while I am taking care of other business – cleaning the house, working in the yard, or driving to and from appointments. I tell you all this because I’m hoping you’ll get psyched up for a little multitasking which involves enjoying a book too. We have a very large selection of audio books right now. If you have a tape player you’re really in luck because we have hundreds of books on tape and we’re selling most of them for only $1.00 each. We have lots of popular authors and titles. No tape player - don’t worry. We also have a lot of books on CDs and even some prerecorded digital audio books. Prices on the CDs and digital books vary but most are between $3.00 and $5.00.

Also in the spotlight: Cooking - many books at 50¢ each, Biographies, Miscellaneous – some unusual and even quirky topics.

Bookstore News October 19 - 22

I was recently reading an article on the benefits of reading. There were many benefits listed that related to improving one's intelligence through developing  analytical thinking skills, improving vocabulary, increasing general knowledge, improving writing skills, and so on. But I was really struck by the mental health benefits listed. These benefits are stress reduction and greater tranquility. What an easy and effective means of relaxing! Reading a great book is an instant distraction from stressful situations and can take you to another place or time. There are so many compelling reasons to read, but I know I’m preaching to the choir. Anyone reading this post probably already loves to read. I’m happy that the Friends of KPL can help you do that and save money too.

Specials this week include: Cooking – a nice, large selection of books, many at only 50¢, Biographies – we’ve got a lot, Michigan-themed books, and Halloween – don’t forget it’s almost here.

Bookstore News October 12 - 15

I enjoy my home state of Michigan so much this time of year. The vibrant fall colors, the warm days and cool nights create those perfect autumn days I wish could be bottled and saved to open and re-live in January. Ah well….If you enjoy Michigan and reading about local places, history, people, and events, we have a collection of books for you. Here are a few of the Michigan-themed books you’ll find at the store this week...

  • Kalamazoo Lost and Found by Houghton and O’Connor
  • Portage and Its Past by Potts
  • Kalamazoo the Place Behind the Products by Massie and Schmitt
  • Richland From Its Prairie Beginnings by McKean, Harrison, and McBride
  • Nineteenth century Homes of Marshall, Michigan by Skjelver
  • Many, many more

All these books are in very good condition.

If you read French or Spanish and would like to add to your home library, make a point of coming to the store this week. The French books include many novels, some history, biographies and a great selection of some wonderful children’s books. The Spanish books also include fiction with popular authors like Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts, and Jean Auel. There is also a good selection of interesting nonfiction.

Friends Bookstore News October 5 - 8

The Kalamazoo Public Library and the ACLU have joined together to celebrate your freedom, as an American citizen, to freely read whatever you choose. The celebration takes place this Friday from 5 to 8 pm at Central Library. This celebration follows Banned Books Week which ended last Saturday. We have pulled together many of the titles that are frequently challenged or banned somewhere in the United States. Come down and look through these books. You might feel motivated to exercise your right to choose.

It’s October and that means Halloween will be here soon! We have a cart full of wonderful Halloween books for children and adults. This collection contains books filled with costume ideas, scary stories fit for little ones, and spine-tingling stories for teens and adults about werewolves, witches, vampires, and ghosts.

If you enjoy Art books, you will definitely want to check out our Art spotlight. Michelangelo, Manet, Giotto, O’Keefe, Gauguin, Leibovitz, Picasso, these are a few of the names you will see as you peruse this collection.

Finally, select trade fiction is still priced at only 50¢ each. This is a super bargain and not a sale that you will see repeated often. Stock up now.

Bookstore News September 28 - October 1

Everybody knows that books come in various formats. Of course there are hardcover and paperback books, but there also are various sizes within those two basic types. One of the more popular sizes of paperback books is referred to as a trade edition, which measures approximately 7 ½ by 5 ½ inches. I bother you with this only because I want to be sure we’re on the same page when I tell you about our sale. We normally sell a trade fiction book for $2.00, but this week we have select trade fiction for only 50¢ each! You’ll find lots of popular authors, even a Pulitzer Prize winner or two. Don’t miss out on this deal.

Other categories of books that have many new and interesting additions are Religion, Civil War, and Native American. As always though, there are new books in almost every category!

Bookstore News September 21 to 24

If you enjoy crafts, or needlework, or if DIY is the way you make improvements at home, we have a special selection of books for you. Hobbies and How To books are in the spotlight this week.  This category of books includes: crafts, needlework, home improvement, decorating, collectibles and antiques, and more.  There are many wonderful books in this collection but I’d like to mention a few that I think are particularly noteworthy. First, there are many lovely knitting and quilting books – these are books with great patterns, techniques and ideas, lots of great projects for the cold winter months ahead. Also, for those of you interested in collectibles and antiques, there is The Smithsonian Illustrated Library of Antiques, this set (books sold individually) contains volumes on antique toys and games, oriental rugs, pottery, enamel, boxes and more, there are fifteen volumes in all.

Also in the spotlight: Music, Military History, and Civil War 

Bookstore News September 14 - 17

We had a great sale Saturday!  My best guess is that 8000 plus books were purchased by very happy customers for 10¢ a piece or for $2.00 a bag full. I saw parents and teachers buying bags of children’s books! The large print table dwindled rapidly. It was obvious that sci-fi fans as well as romance novel enthusiasts knew where the bargains were on Saturday! Many people left the sale on the third floor and came directly down to the store to continue shopping. As at every sale, we had many new customers that were unfamiliar with our store, but were thrilled when they realized the great selection and prices that are available to our customers every week of the year! Sales were remarkable and all those books that sold left room for lots of new material that we put out this week. Be sure and come in to check out all the exciting new books, CDs, DVDs, audio books and more.

Bookstore News September 7 - 10

Big Book Sale this Saturday! This is the week for the sale you don't want to miss! It will be six long months before you can buy books at these prices again. Books will be priced at 10¢ each or $2.00 for a bag full. Thousand of books will be organized by category on tables and carts in the Van Deusen Room on the third floor of Central Library, this Saturday from 9:00 to 3:30. The categories include:

  • Fiction
  • Science Fiction
  • Romance
  • Children's Books
  • Assorted Nonfiction

You may use one of our grocery bags or bring your own reusable bag and fill it full of great books to help get you through the long winter ahead.

Spotlights this week include: Military History - a truly exceptional collection of books on wars and more. Civil War - many great titles. Continuing spotlights include Michigan and Religion.

Bookstore News August 31 - September 3

Well depending on which source you believe, the dog days of summer are over or about to end. The weather has certainly changed and we are experiencing more comfortable temperatures. The End of Summer Reading Party took place in Bronson Park on Sunday, and by all accounts was a big success. Labor Day is this coming Monday, schools start next week, and the Friends Annual September Book Sale is Saturday, September 10. 

As you know this is an event you don’t want to miss! There will be thousands of hardcover and paperback fiction, children’s books and assorted nonfiction to choose from – all at 10¢ a piece or a bag full for $2.00. Plan to be at Central Library between 9:00 and 3:30 on the 10 th.

Spotlights this week include: Business books, select Children’s books priced between 25¢ and $1.00, Art and Architecture, Michigan-themed books and Religion books.

Bookstore News August 24 - 27


September is right around the corner. I thought you might want to flip the calendar page forward and mark the date for our next Big Book Sale. Saturday, September 10 from 9:00 to 3:30 is the date to save. It will be held in Central Library on the third floor in the Van Deusen Room. There will be lots of books – fiction and nonfiction, for children and adults – available at 10¢ each or a whole grocery-size bag full for $2.00. Please feel free to bring your own reusable bags to fill.

If you are a Deadhead or know someone who is we have a large collection of books about the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia. There are at least 20 books to choose from. If you are a fan of the 70’s band you will want to check this out.

Specials this week include: Art and Architecture, Religion, Westerns, and select Mysteries priced 25¢ each or 5 for $1.00.

Bookstore News August 17 - 20

Features this week include Religion books, Michigan-themed books, Westerns, The Teaching Company’s Great Courses and select paperback Mystery.

Religion: A diverse selection of religion, spirituality, and inspirational books.  A few titles you will find include:

  • The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts, an Amazon editorial review says “ This handsome 1957 cloth bound edition of the authoritative English translation of the Aramaic (Syria) Old and New Testaments--the language of Jesus--clarifies difficult passages and offers fresh insight on the Bible's message. 

  • Sufism the Transformation of the Heart by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

  • The Search for the Beloved Journeys in Mythology and Sacred philosophy by Dr. Jean Houston

  • Buddhist Scriptures  selected and translated by Edward Conze

  • The Jefferson Bible The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Thomas Jefferson

Michigan-themed books:  Includes books about Michigan and by Michigan authors. Of special interest are;

  • My Michigan by Gwen Frostic

  • Several Cully Gage books

  • Several John Earl Fetzer books on the Fetzer family.  

Westerns: A huge selection of paperback westerns.

The Great Courses by the Teaching Company – a dozen different courses at unbelievably low prices, mostly on CD.

Select paperback mystery priced at  25¢ each or 5 for $1.00

Bookstore News August 10 - 13

You never know what you might find during a visit to the Friends Bookstore. Committed used-bookstore shoppers enjoy exploring; searching through the shelves for a new reading adventure. The pleasure is derived from both the hunt and the discovery.  

 Here are a few samples of what awaits you this week: 

  •  More than 200 newly donated paperback Westerns priced at 50¢ each 
  •  Signed books – these include two books signed by U.S. Presidents and several books signed by well known authors 
  •  A couple of great old books in colorful dust jackets that some of you will remember – The Mystery of Cabin Island (The Hardy Boys, 1929) and The X Bar X Boys with the Secret Rangers  (James Cody Ferris, 1936) 
  •  Rinkitink in Oz by L. Frank Baum, published by The Reilly & Lee Company with lots of great black & white illustrations 
  •  A beautiful hard cover copy of Jaimy Gordon’s National Book Award Winner – Lord of Misrule 
  •  A whole cart full of puzzles and games – most priced at 50¢ each 
  •  And so much more….. 

Also…I want to remind our loyal customers that they have an opportunity to vote for the Friends Bookstore in the Kalamazoo Gazette’s Readers’ Choice Awards Contest. Voting takes place until August 15. This is an easy way to voice your opinion and let others know about our great little used bookstore in downtown Kalamazoo.  



Bookstore News August 3 - 6

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 with you a list of the categories of books we have available in the bookstore. You will find many worthy ideas to consider here.

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 July 27 - 30

Like most weeks we have received a lot of outstanding donations. If you like fiction and mysteries you’d be doing yourself a big favor by coming in and seeing what we have. We put out extra carts of fiction and mystery to give you an even better selection than usual, most of it priced at only $1.00.

Let me also try to tempt you with a few other special items you can pick up here this week.

  • The Merck Index – An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals  14th Edition. This book sells for $101.00 new  & starts used at $33.00 on Amazon, but you can get it here for $25.00.
  • Art Books – we have lovely art books, both art technique books and books on specific artists and art styles.
  • DVDs – we have a large and eclectic selection of mostly current movies.
  • The Popcorn Puzzle – If you like a challenge this is the puzzle for you. Our volunteer puzzle genius, Su McAullife says it’s the most difficult puzzle she’s ever done. And you can have all that fun for $1.00!

Bookstore News July 20 - 23

"I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?"  She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose."  George Carlin

You won't even have to ask in the Friends Bookstore, since all of our signage is strategically placed to direct you to anything you may be looking for.  Arrows on our end-caps point to Biography, History, Classic, etc.  Shelves within a section are also labeled wherever appropriate (for example, there is a World War II shelf in the History section).  So come in for a highly organized browsing experience.  We are staffed with friendly and knowledgeable volunteers, for those who are not into the self-help experience.  We are also fully air-conditioned; something you surely want to know this week.

In the spotlight (i.e. organized on special carts) are Hard-cover Fiction, Hobbies & How-To, Travel, Cooking and Gardening

Friends Bookstore News July 13 - 16

National Parks of the American West, Off the Beaten Path – A Travel Guide to More than 1000 Scenic Places, Eyewitness Travel Guide to the Greek Islands, New York Landmarks, and Chicago on Foot, these are a few of the titles in our travel spotlight this week. If you like to travel or are interested in reading about other countries, we have an exciting selection of travel guides, books about other countries and cultures, and travel memoirs you will enjoy looking through.

If you don’t have the time, the money, or maybe the inclination to travel, perhaps you’ll enjoy staying home and cooking up an exciting meal of international cuisine. We have pulled together an inspiring collection of cookbooks featuring international, ethnic, and of course great American recipes.

Bookstore News July 6 - 9

July is National Anti-Boredom Month. I didn’t know this until today. Luckily, I work with some exceptionally bright and well-informed people at the bookstore and Linda Kanamueller, volunteer extraordinaire, shared this fact with me. My interest was piqued and I did a little research.

National Anti-Boredom Month and The Boring Institute ( were created in 1984, by author Alan Caruba, as a media spoof. Caruba states in his blog that “boredom is your mind demanding to be ‘fed’, ‘stimulated’, fulfilled in the same way the body must be fed.” Caruba attributes many of society’s problems, including crime and failed marriages, to boredom. He suggests activities to help eliminate boredom and remarks that “as a longtime book reviewer, I cannot fail to say that reading is absolutely essential to avoid boredom. There are few pleasures that can rival a good book whether it is fiction or non-fiction. They shine a light in the dark and empty places of the mind”

You can fight boredom, enjoy yourself, and help support the library this week all by stopping by the bookstore and buying a book or two! We look forward to seeing you.

In the spotlight this week: Poetry, Hobbies and How To, Science and Nature, Military, and Science Fiction.

Bookstore News June 29 - July 2

This week spotlights will continue on Hobbies and How To, Religion, and Science Fiction. New this week is a spotlight on Military History and particularly Military Aircraft. I'll fill you in a bit on the kind of books you can expect to find in our featured categories.

Hobbies and How To: Books sorted to the Hobbies and How To category come from a whole series of different topics including: crafts, needlework & sewing, photography,decorating, games, home improvement, pet care, antiques & collectibles, and vehicle care,

Religion: Religion books you might find in the store this week include books on various world religions, spirituality, religion and politics, Christian fiction, Bibles, Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and more.

Sci Fi: Lots of current and older sci-fi in paperback and hard cover.

Military: Histories of several wars, a Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II, many large nicely illustrated books of battle ships and aircraft, and more.

Bookstore News June 22 - 25

Summer officially began this week. For many of you, especially those of you with children at home, this means a vacation is imminent. I always feel that the anticipation of the trip is half the fun. The actual travel to your destination, however may not be so much fun particularly when it’s peppered with “Are we there yet?” A couple of things that you can pick up here at the store might help make the journey a little more pleasant. Think about bringing along a bag full of books. One of the really nice things about buying books here is the price. (You already knew that!) When you buy books for 50¢ or a dollar you can put together a mini-library and if one book doesn’t fit the mood just move on to the next. Audio books are another thing you might want to bring along on your trip.  Traveling in a car is sometimes more conducive to listening to a book than reading it. We have lots of audio books – on CDs, on tape, and digitally prerecorded. I’ll bet you can find something for everyone.

In the spotlight this week: Hobbies and How To, Religion, and Sci Fi & Fantasy

Bookstore News June 15 - 18

This week, like every week, we’ve put hundreds of “new” books out onto the bookstore shelves. Most weeks we add new books to almost every category. That’s why I tell people to check back often if they’re looking for a specific title. The title you couldn’t find today could easily be here tomorrow.  We also have a request service for those looking for a particular book.  Ask about it next time you shop at the store.

This week we have a couple unusual featured items.  We have a large selection of Playaways – preloaded, digital, portable, audio books. All you need is a triple A battery and a set of earphones and you’re ready to enjoy your audio book. You can select from classics, children’s books and popular authors.  Playaways are $4.00 each.  We also have a nice assortment of operas on CD’s. These Opera d’Oro CD’s are 1, 2, and 3 CD sets priced to sell at between $2.50 and $3.50.

Also in the spotlight this week:  Science Fiction, Art, and Historical Biographies

Bookstore News June 8 - 11

I hope you were able to join us on Saturday for the Sidewalk Sale. What a day! Shoppers eagerly paid $2.00 and filled their bags with books from the thousands available. It’s always such a fun and exciting day. Even though the first hour or two are crowded and hectic, people seem happy and are very helpful as we keep adding more books as the supply dwindles. If you missed the sale or are already looking forward to the next one, I have the date for you. Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 10. I will fill you in on the details closer to that date.

In the spotlight this week: Art and Architecture – lots of new books added this week, Gardening, and Historical Biography.

Sidewalk Sale - Saturday, June 4

We are genuinely grateful for the generous donations we receive from the community. We exist because of them. However, we are in the unusual position of needing to ask our friends and patrons to delay bringing in donations until after June 6. Our available space is full, but it won’t be for long. The giant annual Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale is this Saturday, June 4 (see below for details) and when the thousands of books we will sell at this sale have found new homes, space will be available again. We appreciate your help and understanding.

What: Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale

When: Saturday, June 4 from 9:00 to 3:30

Where: Central Library, 315 S. Rose Street


  • Books are 10¢ each or buy a bag full for $2.00 – your bag or ours
  • Fiction (general fiction, mystery, sci-fi, and romance), assorted nonfiction, lots of children’s books, lots of large print
  • Proceeds help support the library
  • Call 553.7821 with questions


Friends Sidewalk Sale

Bookstore News May 25 - 28

I hope you will help us spread the news about the Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale on June 4. Our annual sidewalk sale takes place on one of the busiest days in downtown Kalamazoo. The KIA Art Fair, the Greek Fest, and our Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale all take place on the same day.

I'm particularly excited about this sale because we have so many great books this year.In addition to the great hardcover and paperback fiction, mystery, romance and nonfiction we will have an especially large selection of children's books and large print books. Do your friends and neighbors a favor and let them know about the great books they can buy for 10¢ a piece - or a bag full for $2.00!

The sale takes place under the portico at Central Library from 9:00 to 3:30. Bring your own bag and fill it up for $2.00 or buy one of ours. Call 553.7821 with questions.

Spotlights in the store this week: Art Books, Knitting and Quilting Books,  Michigan-themed Books, select Buy One Get One Children's Books.

Bookstore News May 18 -21

Did you know it is Michigan Week? Michigan Week was first celebrated in 1954 as a way to promote state pride and to honor the state’s rich heritage and distinctive characteristics. It is celebrated annually to encourage Michigan’s residents to appreciate the special place they call home. We are celebrating Michigan Week by pulling together a great selection of Michigan-themed books for you to enjoy. You will find books on Michigan history, biographies of famous Michiganders, books by Michigan authors, Michigan cookbooks, children’s books and more.

The June Super Saturday Sidewalk Sale is two weeks from this Saturday – June 4! The sale starts at 9:00 and ends at 3:30. There will be tons of fiction and nonfiction books. We will also have a lot of children’s books and large print books this year. Remember books are only 10₵ each or $2.00 a bag. Bring your own reusable bag and fill it up for $2.00. Call 553.7821 with questions.

Friends Bookstore News May 11 - 14

The Buy One Get One Sale on select children's books is continuing this week. Many new books have been added to the sale cart. The select books include children's picture books and teen/tween fiction and nonfiction. This is a super deal that you won't want to miss - buy a book for $1.00 and get another free!

In the Spotlight this week: Music, Pets, and Civil War 

Mark your calendar – June Sidewalk Sale is Saturday, June 4 from 9:00 to 3:30. Watch future posts for additional information.

Friends Bookstore News May 4 - 7

Mother's Day is this Sunday. We have a small but delightful collection of motherhood- themed books assembled for the occasion; something thoughtful to give to your mom to let her know she’s appreciated. I’d like to suggest that you don’t limit your Mother’s Day book shopping to the theme books though, because we have so many books throughout the store that would make great gifts. Take a little time and look through the shelves. A book on art, gardening, history, arts and crafts or maybe a really good mystery might make the perfect gift. At our prices you could give your mom a bag full of books and have money left over to take her out to dinner.

We’re having a BOGO sale this week! On select children’s books you can buy one (for a dollar) and get one free. BOGO books include select children’s picture books and teen/tween fiction and nonfiction books.

Finally, don’t forget the Friends Annual Meeting – The Founding Friends of Libraries - this Saturday morning. For more information read last week’s post or call us at 553.7821, there are a few seats left.

Founding Friends of Libraries

Whether you are a true history buff or just like to learn more about the area in which you live, this presentation is sure to please.  Four local historians will hilight some of the earliest "friends" of libraries.  Lynn Houghton will inform us about Edwin & Cynthia VanDeusen's donation of the origninal Kalamazoo Public Library. Shirley Clay Scott will speak about the Meader family's involvement with the WMU Library. Paul Smithson will concentrate on the A.M. Todd family and K College Library and Sharon Carlson's focus will be the Ladies Library Association.

This interesting program will be presented on Saturday, May 7 at WMU's Fetzer Center by the Friends of KPL and the Friends of WMU Libraries.  Plan to gather at 9:30 a.m. There will be a very brief  business meeting at 10, followed by a lovely brunch and the program. Cost for the event is only $15.00 per person. Please call Friends of KPL at 553-7821 to register or email The deadline for registration is Sat., April 30, so don't delay! Call or email right away!

Bookstore News April 20 - 23

This month our country is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Civil War buffs will enjoy looking through the collection of Civil War books we have in the spotlight this week.

Continuing in the spotlight this week: Military History, Poetry, Easter and Passover books.

Bookstore News April 13 - 16

April is National Poetry Month. Beginning in 1996, April was set aside as the time each year to recognize and celebrate poets and poetry. In 1996, President Clinton promoted the commemoration of 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."  We’ve pulled together an interesting selection of poetry books for both children and adults. We have a particularly nice selection of children’s poetry. Help celebrate National Poetry Month and enjoy the enrichment that poetry can bring to your life.

Bookstore News April 6 - 9

Well it’s April and that’s about the time of year to begin thinking about spring cleaning. Many of us start making plans not only for that ambitious, thorough, house cleaning, but also for repairing, painting, building projects and yard work. We put together a collection of books to help you tackle any of the special projects you may be thinking about undertaking this spring. Most of these books are priced at 50¢ or $1.00. Come find a book that might just make your life a little easier.

Also in the spotlight this week: Military History – an exceptional selection of books on various wars and conflicts; Religion – also a very nice selection of books including many different religions; current titles and classic authors; Music – this collection of books is truly unusual, topics include opera, jazz, Broadway, music theory and more.

Bookstore News March 30 - April 2

Great books, great selection, great prices, that about says it all. It’s been another wonderful week to be the Friends Bookstore Coordinator. I have to admit that it took me a little longer than usual to price books this week because there are so many interesting books to appreciate and to spend just a little extra time with. You will find lots of current titles and interesting topics that I think you’ll enjoy looking through too.

In the Spotlight: Religion, History, and Music. We also still have some train books.

Bookstore News March 23 - 26

If you are a train and railway enthusiast you will probably want to visit the bookstore this week. We still have quite a few very nice train books, but they are going fast.The great deals on the interesting selection of train books encouraged some of our customers to buy them by the armful. Plan to come down early in the week to  have your best chance at finding a special train book to enjoy.

Two categories of books in the spotlight this week are history and music. The history books are weighted toward military history but there is a good range of historical topics. The musical topics include opera, jazz, rock and roll, composing, and more. The books in these two categories cover interesting topics, are in very good condition, and are priced at our everyday low prices. If music or history interest you, you really should check these collections out.

Bookstore News March 16 - 19

We recently received a large donation of railroad and train books. Train and railway enthusiasts should find much to pique their interest in the 200 plus books we have available. Freight, passenger, electric, steam trains and more - even a few model train books are included in this collection. These books are priced to sell. I checked the prices of these books in comparable condition on both Railpub and Amazon, then I priced our books at less than ½ those prices. Most books are in very good condition and are $15 to $20, some are more and some are less. 

Select pet books are 1/2 off this week. We have a very large selection of books about cats.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. You still have time to look through our collection of books about St. Patrick's Day or Ireland. Maybe you'll go home with a cookbook to guide you through the preparation of a yummy Irish meal.

Oshtemo Branch Book Sale and Bookstore News March 9 - 12

If you are a Book Lover and Bargain Hunter your stars are aligned to bring you the best of both worlds this Friday and Saturday - a great selection of books at incredibly low prices. Here's the place to be this weekend to score great deals on books.

Oshtemo Branch Library – Community Room

7265 West Main Street

Friday and Saturday, March 11 & 12

10:00 to 4:00 both days

All books are 50¢ each or 3 for $1.00

You know, of course, that the bookstore downtown has great deals on books four days a week. This week is no exception. We put out lots of new, interesting history, literature, biography and much more. I hope you can visit us downtown and at Oshtemo this week.

Bookstore News March 2 - 5

A lot of important events occur in March. There are, to name a few, St. Patrick's Day, and the First Day of Spring, March Madness, the Ides of March, and National Pig Day - seriously, it's on March 1st. I have another event to add to that list and you may want to mark it on your calendar. Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12 you are invited to join us for the Friends of KPL Oshtemo Branch Book Sale. The sale will take place in the Community Room (Oshtemo Branch) from 10:00 to 4:00 on both days. Books are priced at 50¢ each or three for a dollar. You will find a huge selection of fiction, nonfiction and children's books. There will be a much larger selection of children's books than we normally have at these sales. I hope to see you there. Please call the bookstore at 553.7821 with any questions.

In the bookstore this week we have more really nice art books. There is a great selection of new (this week) "how to" painting and drawing techniques. We also have a large selection of pet books. If you are a cat fancier you really need to check this collection out. Dog and horse people - there are good books for you too. Topics include animal humor, care, stories, and more.

Bookstore News February 23 - 26.

I'm so happy to be at the bookstore today. I'm usually happy to be here, but today, the fact that it's warm is a big added benefit! As I write this I am still without power at home and I know that many of you are too. I hope that you will come enjoy the warmth with us this week and spend some time browsing and shopping in the store. We put out a lot of good material this week. A couple of areas that were stocked with some particularly nice books are gardening, literature, and history. Good new arrivals are not limited to those subjects by any means.

We have a big selection of audio books on tape. There are many good titles and we have books for both children and adults.  The price - only $1.00!

Art, Teen Fiction, and Black History continue in the spotlight.

Bookstore News February16 - 19

It was such a pleasure sorting through our donations and getting them ready to go out into the store this week. I always enjoy this part of my job because it's exciting to see the newly arrived donations. Truthfully there are some weeks it's more fun than others and this was one of those extra fun weeks. This translates into good news for you - our customers. We put out a lot of extra good, interesting material in many different categories. I think you'll really enjoy browsing through the shelves this week.

In the spotlight: Art - including a big selection of "how to" painting and drawing techniques. Teen Fiction - lots of good reading and Black History - in addition to history there is poetry, folktales, biographies and more.

February 9 - 12

We are continuing to celebrate Black History Month. The selection of books honoring African Americans includes biographies, history, political science and more.

We also have a very good selection of military history books this week. This collection includes books on the Civil War, the Vietnam War, both World Wars and more. If you enjoy military history you will want to check this out.

Bookstore News February 2 - 5

In honor of Black History Month we have gathered together an interesting selection of books celebrating African Americans. This collection includes biographies, history, fiction and more.

We are running a special on Religion Books this week. All religion books are 1/2 off our normal low prices. We also have a selection of religion books on a cart all priced at 50¢

Select hardcover fiction and mystery are priced only 50¢ each this week.

Come see us - weather permitting.

Bookstore News January 26 - 29

The Mid-Winter Book Sale is this Saturday. This is the time to stock up on reading material for the rest of the winter at really low, bargain prices. Bring your own bag (or we can provide one) and fill it up with books for only $2.00 or if you want you can buy your books for 10¢ each.  The sale starts at 9:00 in the Van Deusen Room at Central Library. Come early for the best selection or come a little later for a more leisurely shopping experience. But be sure to give yourself enough time to shop – the sale ends at 3:30.

This week, Wednesday through Friday, all biographies are ½ off our normal low prices. Saturday we’ll try to have a few nice surprises for you in the store. Please come down and see us after you shop the sale upstairs.

Bookstore News January 19 - 22

The Mid-Winter Bag-Of-Books Sale is less than 2 weeks away. On Saturday, January 29 you can buy books for 10¢ each or fill up a grocery-size bag full of books for only $2.00.You'll be able to choose from fiction, mystery, science fiction, romance and assorted non-fiction including cooking, biographies, hobbies & crafts and much more. There will be both children's and adult books. The sale begins at 9:00 and ends at 3:30. It takes place in theVan Deusen Room on the 3rd floor of the library downtown.

Continuing this week all our Diet and Fitness books and our Health and Medicine books are on sale.  This is not just a select group of books but all the books in those two categories in the store are sale-priced 1/2 off the sticker price. If you are in the market I'm sure you will find something to fit your needs. 

Also this week: a select group of hardcover fiction and mystery are 50¢ each and all Christmas books (last week) are 1/2 off.

Bookstore News January 12 - 15

One New Year's resolution that a majority of us have made at one time or another is to become more physically fit and healthy. In keeping with that perennial goal we have reduced  the price of all our Diet and Fitness books and our Health and Medicine books by 50 percent.  This is not just a select group of books but all the books in those two categories in the store are sale-priced 1/2 off the sticker price. If you are in the market I'm sure you will find something to fit your needs. 

Also this week: a select group of hardcover fiction and mystery are 50¢ each and all Christmas books (last week) are 1/2 off.

Remember- the Mid-Winter Bag Sale is scheduled for Saturday, January 29 from 9:00 to 3:30 in the Van Deusen Room at Central Library.

Bookstore News January 5 - 8

The holidays are behind us and the new year is ahead and full of promise. I always feel optimistic in January - it is a time of new beginnings and potential. The bookstore is stocked with lots of new material and open for business again beginning Wednesday January 5th.

This week we have a sale on select hardcover mystery and fiction for 50¢ a book.  Also, all the holiday books, music, and movies are 1/2 off.

The Winter Bag sale is coming soon! Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 29. This is the sale you don't want to miss - $2.00 a bag or 10¢ a book! The place is the Van Deusen Room, third floor of Central Library - the time is 9:00 - 3:30. Come join us, you'll be glad you did.