Volunteers for the Friends of the Seattle Public Library turned an empty hangar at Sand Point into a landscape of books for this weekend's...

Volunteers for the Friends of the Seattle Public Library turned an empty hangar at Sand Point into a landscape of books for this weekend’s 36th annual spring book sale.

The most-valued books, however, were in a small room off to the side, saved for Friday’s silent auction for members of the Friends: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, illustrated and signed by Salvador Dali, worth between $5,000 and $8,000; an 1877 edition of Charles Darwin’s “Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species”; and a leather-bound Bible from 1728.

Today, the sale opens to the public, and most of the 250,000 items will sell for about a buck.

“We hope they clean us out,” said book-sale director Joan Amatucci. Proceeds from the sale, which usually raises more than $100,000, will be used to pay for programs not covered by the library’s operating fund, such as cultural community programs.

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Organizers expect thousands to come to the book sale, and 300 volunteers will work during the weekend.

On Friday, most volunteers were opening boxes and sorting books to make it easier for shoppers to browse through.

In the fiction area, two volunteers raced to see who could round up more romance books for sale. Patricia Hall, from Greenwood, was leading with nearly 50 titles by Danielle Steel.

Seattle Public Library spring book sale


The sale is open today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Magnuson Park, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E., Building No. 30, Seattle. For more information, call 206-523-4053.

“Don’t label me a Danielle Steel reader, please,” said Hall, who just finished reading books by Isabel Allende and Sherman Alexie. This is the fifth year she’s volunteered.

In the next aisle, Terry Almasi, from Capitol Hill, had collected 24 Nora Roberts books. He and his son started volunteering this year.

“I feel it’s just part of showing our appreciation” for library services, he said.

Sharon Pian Chan: 206-464-2958 or schan@seattletimes.com