Lafayette court clerk has built an elaborate collection of books through the sale of books at the library | Entertainment / Life

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They line up for hours before the sale begins, sometimes braving notices of heat or afternoon showers under umbrellas.

They don’t expect great deals on TVs and tablets at a Black Friday sale. They are looking for books and vinyls at the Friends of the Library biannual book sale.

“Some people get mad because they’re on the front lines and not the first to see a certain section of the books,” said event organizer Flossie Turner. “But there is so much you can see at once. Some people just can’t wait.”

It almost became a kind of club. The same people arrive early for the spring and fall book sales. They get to know each other while waiting for the doors to open.

“Some people take it very, very seriously,” said Jimmy Clarke, a higher education policy consultant who is often among the first to line up. “They see it as a business. They’re looking for rare and unusual books that they can fill their bookstores with or sell online or something like that. And others come with young kids and take advantage of children’s books and stuff. like that.”

Then there is the clerk of the parish of Lafayette Louis Perret.

He doesn’t arrive as early as some because his office doesn’t close until 4:30 pm Yet he waits well over an hour for the doors to open on the first day of the sale.

“The closest I have ever been to the front of the line is No 10,” said Perret. “They’re usually the same people. We all visit. Everyone knows what everyone likes. I don’t mind the people in front of me who collect albums, cookbooks, fiction. These are people who collect biographies and history books that I have a problem with. “

That’s what he’s looking for. Perret even brings his own wheeled luggage to take his loot home.

“It can get pretty heavy,” he laughed. “But I made some amazing finds.”

Perret has an impressive personal library of around 2,000 books spread over eight large shelves in his home, office and camp.

He has shelves in his kitchen, living room and bedroom at his home in Saints Streets. He has shelves in his office, conference room, and closet at the downtown parish courthouse.

Then there are the floor-to-ceiling libraries of his camp near Judice. It is there that it houses more than 400 books on American presidents, among others.

“My love of reading was instilled in me by my parents,” Perret said. “The book that hooked me the most when I was young was probably ‘People’s Almanac’ by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace. It’s just filled with idiosyncratic little stories about America and the history of the world, and j love that stuff. “

Some of his best finds have come from the Friends of the Library book sale.

Among them are a large book filled with color photos of George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog paintings and an original edition of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” which ignited the environmental movement by documenting the effects of pesticides.

Perret estimates that he has read 95% of the books in his personal library. He has about 100 books aside to read when he retires, which he doesn’t plan to do for another ten years. These books are for the most part complicated, long readings to which he wants to devote himself entirely by reading.

He only keeps his favorites in his personal collection. He donates the remainder to Friends of the Library for their book sales.

He buys a handful of books every time he sees them at book sales or estates. He frequently lends or offers them to anyone who might find them useful, especially aspiring politicians.

Clyde Vidrine’s “Just Takin ‘Orders: A Southern Governor’s Watergate” is one. The book, which was written by a bodyguard of four-term Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, shares details of political corruption under his leadership.

“The Last Hayride” and “Cross to Bear,” both by John Maginnis, are also on the list. The former details Edwards’ 1983 gubernatorial campaign against David Treen, and the latter details his 1991 campaign against David Duke and Buddy Roemer.

Seymour Hersh’s “The Dark Side of Camelot” is another. Hersh, an investigative journalist, details former President John F. Kennedy’s alleged indiscretions and wrongdoing through interviews with former Secret Service agents and administration officials.

Clarke is also on a mission to purchase multiple copies of a particular book.

It is after “Saints and Strangers” by George F. Willison, which offers a detailed overview of the lives of pilgrims before, during and after their arrival in America. The book contains information about Clarke’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather John Robinson, an English pastor who counseled pilgrims before boarding the Mayflower.

Clarke bought a copy of “Saints and Strangers” for under $ 2 at a Friends of the Library book sale, and he hopes to find a few more copies to give to his children and grandchildren.

One of the regulars he queued with before the sale actually brought him a copy of the book.

“He walked up to me and said, ‘Are you still trying to find copies of this book? I have found another,'” Clarke said. “He found it, bought it and brought it up for sale. And that really sums up the whole book selling. It’s a good thing, so friendly, family, caring. And you get some good ones too. books.”

The biannual book sale begins Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Heymann Center for members of the Friends of the library. Non-members can pay $ 5 at the door.

The sale continues from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Free entry.

Books are priced at $ 1 per inch for hardback books and 50 cents per inch for paperbacks. Special first edition, autographed and oversized books are billed separately. Vinyls, DVDs, audiobooks and CDs will also be available for purchase.

The profits go to the Lafayette Public Library. Friends of the Library have donated nearly $ 860,000 of their $ 1 million goal to the local library system so far.

Learn more at facebook.com/lafayettefriends.


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