Book lovers from around the state are descending on Laurel Park Place in Livonia this week for the 17th annual Bookstock, believed to be Michigan’s largest used book and media sale. Now, until April 14, over 700 volunteers will help sell over 300,000 donated items - all in support of literacy.
Book prices range from 50 cents to $4, while other media, such as vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks and computer games mostly range from $2 to $4.
Roz Blanck, wife of Stanford Blanck, who co-owns Wallside Windows, is a co-founder of the event. She and what she estimates to be about 75 other volunteers work all year to make the event come to fruition and in a bigger form every year. Blanck said the event has been fortunate to receive community and business support since the beginning. Wallside Windows is supporter of Bookstock.
“It’s a lot of people and a lot of hours to make this happen,” said Roz Blanck. She described the event as a “win-win-win situation.”
“People want to donate their books somewhere and they get a tax-deduction, and people want to buy inexpensive books,” she said.
She noted that people may not want to spend $27.50 on a new hardcover book they don’t know anything about, but they’ll gladly spend $3 on it - and it could become the best book they ever read. In addition to book lovers getting deeply discounted reads, several nonprofits and literacy efforts in the Detroit area receive support through Bookstock each year.
Fourteen nonprofits will provide volunteers to work the event this year, and those organizations will receive a portion of the sale’s proceeds. In addition, there is the Bookstock Fund, which organizations can apply to for funding.
This year, recipients of Bookstock Fund dollars include City Year, Starfish Family Services, Inside Out and Book Up.
“I think literacy is really important, and there’s so many people that can’t read, and all the proceeds go to literacy — book clubs, organizations and others that promote literacy,” Blank said. In its first 16 years, Bookstock raised over $2 million to support local literacy programs.
Blanck noted there’s something for readers of all ages and all interests at Bookstock and added that the sale is “fresh every year.”
On the last afternoon of the sale, nonprofits can come and take books for free, then any left over get donated.
Book donations start in the fall each year, and what Bookstock offers continues to grow. Blanck said when it started, no one was interested in vinyl, but how that more people collect albums, it’s become a bigger seller. She said the rise of e-readers hasn’t slowed the sale or donations down either.
“We definitely have more books this year than we’ve had before,” she said.
For more details on this year’s Bookstock, including hours, special events and prices, and how to donate, visit www.bookstockmi.org.