• Snow-thing's going to get them down

  • As the second snowstorm in less than a week rolled into Eastern Jackson County early Tuesday, Jan Keeler said her prayers.

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  • As the second snowstorm in less than a week rolled into Eastern Jackson County early Tuesday, Jan Keeler said her prayers.
    And evidently, the wishful thinking and hoping worked, says Keeler, co-chairwoman of annual used book sale led by the Independence Branch of the American Association of University Women.
    With the streets cleared for the most part, the 39th annual AAUW used book sale started Thursday at Independence Center on the upper level outside of Macy’s. The sale lasts during the mall’s normal business hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and continues Friday and Saturday.
    “Was I nervous? Talk about blood pressure,” Keeler says. “I was thinking, ‘Gosh, what are we going to do?’ We can’t really call it off because we’re scheduled eight, 10 months in advance.”
    Keeler, who’s involvement with the book sale goes back more than 30 years, says the crowd Thursday morning and afternoon seemed lighter compared to the past, calling the weather a likely factor.
    She remembers snow showers and torrential rains during other book sales, but Keeler says AAUW has never had to worry about snowstorms affecting the sale like this year. Large piles of plowed snow still filled several parking spaces outside of the mall’s main entrance off of 39th Street.
    “I have a feeling (Thursday) evening, we’ll just be deluged with people,” Keeler says. “I think they’ll be coming out of the woodwork because of cabin fever. I think it’s going to be a really good sale.”
    This year’s AAUW used book sale started as the organization’s largest ever, with more than 7,000 books available. Boy Scout Troop 347 – Good Shepherd Community of Christ loaded the boxed books into a rental truck and delivered them to the mall.
    Terry Woodruff of Independence stayed mostly in the children’s book section Thursday afternoon, seeking out titles for her grandchildren, ages 7 and 10.
    “Oh, they have so many books. They’re awesome,” Woodruff says of why she’s returned to the sale for more than five years. “You can always find something. I’ve already got a bag full. Last year, I spent over $20, just on kids’ books.”
    Starting in January, Woodruff emailed a friend who is a member of AAUW, eager to know when the 39th annual book sale dates were scheduled.
    A self-described book person, Roy Manade of Independence says he’s attended the sale for at least 10 years.
    “What’s weird is that I’ve donated some of these books,” Manade says, laughing. “I may not buy anything at all, but I’m going to look for a little while.”
    This year, Manade actually forgot the book sale was taking place, but his wife quickly called home to remind him when she was at the mall Thursday afternoon, shopping for something else.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Everything’s pretty clear,” Manade says of the weather affecting his trip to the mall. “Now, (Wednesday), I wouldn’t have been able to get out of my driveway.”
    Roy Manade’s wife also called a family friend, Luan Miller of Blue Springs, to remind her of the sale. Miller says she has attended the book sale “for as long as I can remember.” On Thursday afternoon, she sought the titles of popular thriller authors like James Patterson and Dean Koontz, who are among Miller’s favorites.
    On average, Miller, who is retired, reads two or three books a week.
    “I just like to read, period,” she says. “I’m not a television person. I read instead of watch TV. If there are books on sale, I’m coming.”
    Although she’s attended the book sale for at least 20 years, Miller hadn’t heard of the after 3 p.m. Brown Sack Sale on Saturday. For the final six hours of the sale, AAUW sells brown grocery bags for $5 each, and customers can fill as many of them as they’d like with books as full as they can get them.
    A smile spread across Miller’s face as she learned of the Brown Sack Sale for the first time.
    “Really?” she says. “I might have to do that.”

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