June 29, 2014

Book sale rakes in local support

PLATTSBURGH — Gerianne Downs has been organizing thousands of books since Wednesday in preparation for this year’s Book Sale at Seton Academy. 

“We have like 5,000 books,” she said. “This year is the year where the number of books we had seemed to explode. Two thousand of those came from Steve McDonald of Lake City Books.”

Downs has worked at the annual Book Sale since its creation. It is part of the annual St. Peter’s Festival to benefit St. Peter’s Church set for noon to 4 p.m. today at Seton Academy on St. Charles Street.

An auction will take place at 1:30 p.m., as well as, through the afternoon, a bake sale, kids games, food and a flea market on the school field. 


Downs said the sale has grown each year since its beginning in 2002. They held it outside the school at first, and their collection was smaller. By 2003, the number of books was so varied they moved inside the school and developed an organizational system. It has kept growing since then.

“It was a fraction of what we have now,” Downs said. “Over the years, we’ve started organizing the books by author.”

She said there are people who support the cause year after year, lining up outside the school before the sale is started.

“I have a huge fan base of people who come over and over,” she said. “ People come to the sale and collect their whole year of reading.”

Downs’s daughters, Margaret, 19; Patricia, 16; and Brigid, 8; have all been integral to the process of sorting the massive selection of books and have seen the number grow year after year.

“I couldn’t do it alone,” the Plattsburgh woman said. “They all know what they’re supposed to do. It’s become something everyone’s involved in. I know there are organizations that do sales like us, but I doubt they’re as organized.”

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