YMCA to sponsor 32nd annual Book Fair

The 32nd annual YMCA Book Fair kicks off this week at the Kennedy Recreation Center, 6050 Wells Road.

The event, drawing book lovers from more than 20 states for rare finds, benefits the YMCA’s expansive youth and literacy programs.

Through the Washington University Campus YMCA and the YMCA’s three literacy programs, hundreds of adults and children in the St. Louis area have access to free books and reading tutors.

“The funds raised from the annual book sales allow us to provide these valuable programs,” Caroline Mitchell, director of the YMCA literacy programs, stated in a news release. “The adults and children we serve gain more than reading skills, but they gain self-confidence too.

“It may sound far-fetched, but by buying books, you are really making a difference in the lives of others,” she added.

“We have filled four tractor-trailer containers of great books, and we don’t keep anything you wouldn’t want to read in your bed,” Dan Schulze, executive director of the Carondelet Family Rec Complex, stated in the release. “As usual, we have a great selection of rare and special books, many of which have beautiful illustrated bindings.”

The Book Fair begins at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, with a special Preview Night, a chance to get a sneak peak at the books for sale.

A $10 admission fee will be charged for the Preview Night sale.

The Book Fair continues from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, through Wednesday, Aug. 25, with free admission. Special pricing begins Tuesday, Aug. 24, with Half-Price Day while Wednesday, Aug. 25, offers shoppers a $10 Bag-or-Box Day.

Additional details about the 32nd annual YMCA Book Fair, a list of rare books available and volunteer opportunities can be found at

or by calling (314) 353-4960.