Book lovers flock to Chattanooga Library's sale in Eastgate Town Center

Book lovers flock to Chattanooga Library's sale in Eastgate Town Center

July 22nd, 2013 by Jeff LaFave in Local Regional News

Julie Barcroft carries an armload of books Sunday afternoon during the Friends of the Library book sale at the Eastgate Town Center.

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

The Goggans family was running out of room for books in its shopping cart.

Tamarah Goggans and two of her nine home-schooled children filtered through stacks of hardcover finds Sunday at the Friends of the Chattanooga Library book sale in Eastgate Town Center.

"As my kids move out of the house, my classics disappear with them," Tamarah Goggans said. "Book sales are a great thing because I turn them all into bibliophiles."

The Friends of the Library uses the 10-day sales to disperse inexpensive literature and fund its youth summer reading programs. It raises about $20,000 with each of its three annual sales.

The books can sell for as little as 50 cents, but the Goggans family planned to spend $25 on its armfuls of reads.

"All our walls are lined with books," Goggans said. "So while I'm picking through, I'm asking which of my books have usefulness and which need to go away now."

The joy of reading can be infectious. Biographies inspired Goggans to research her world at an early age. Her 13-year-old son John was eyeing a 22-volume installment on nature.

"He likes cephalopods and nautiluses," his mom said.

"Mom, that [a nautilus] is a cephalopod," John reminded her.

Daughter Anna is a 16-year-old with a penchant for the classics. Her favorite play is "The Merchant of Venice."

"It lights her fire when I bring home 'The Complete Works of Shakespeare,'" her mom said. "She ran off to put it in her own private collection."

Even those involved with the book sale have a passion for pages.

"According to my parents, my first words were 'Da-Da's books,'" said Tom Atkins, Friends of the Chattanooga Library chairman.

Atkins has served the Friends of the Library for 30 years with a fervor for fiction. His favorite author is Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of "Tarzan."

"It's been a lifelong pleasure and work route for me," Atkins said.

Today is "bag day," the last day of the sale. For $4, readers can buy as many books as they can fit in a paper grocery bag, assuming it doesn't rip.

The already-swamped Gogganses knew in advance they would need a little help Sunday.

"We're not getting more books," John said while grabbing a second shopping cart. "This cart is just for rejects."

Contact staff writer Jeff LaFave at 423-757-6592 or