Little Jack Pillard was totally oblivious to what his mom was doing for him Friday morning, choosing to snooze in his cozy backpack carrier while mom shopped.
But his mom, Julie Pillard, knew that would change as soon as they got home and she pulled out one of the many books she was buying at the book sale benefiting the Abilene Public Library.
"Every day, he brings me a book," Pillard said of her 1-year-old son. "He holds it out and says, 'Let's read.'"
Julie Pillard was one of several hundred people who got to the sale Friday morning when it opened at the Abilene Convention Center. The sale continues Saturday and Sunday.
The sale features books for ever taste and reading level, plus "antiques and uniques," DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and magazines.
The children's area of the sale, always a favorite, was filled Friday morning with young parents and children, school teachers, and grandparents looking for bargains.
Toni Allan of Abilene was buying for two grandchildren who live here and two who live in Colorado.
"They're coming to visit," Allan said, "so I'm getting books for them too."
The two in Abilene are ages 2 1/2 and 5. The Colorado kids are 8 and 11. Allan used to work at the library and kept current on what children were reading. Now, she just hopes she's picking some books they will like and some they will like in the future. She feels pretty comfortable that whatever she takes home will be appreciated.
"They are reading fiends," she said. "If they've got a books, they're happy."
Kristin Gray had her four children, ages 4 to 9, sitting on the floor of the exhibit hall, each with a pile of books. The children are homeschooled and Gray buys books for their education and for curriculum. Lydia Gray, 9, had a Nancy Drew mystery on the top of her pile.
"She's one of my favorites," Lydia said of the Carolyn Keene series of mysteries that originated in the 1930s and has been popular with every generation since.
The annual sale is hosted by the Friends of the Library. Proceeds benefit projects sponsored by the organization. Last year's sale netted $66,051. Each year, the bottom line increases and is expected to again this year.
Parents and grandparents account for a large number of shoppers. Jack Pillard, who chose to sleep while his mom shopped, is the youngest of four children. His mother, Julie, was shopping for all of them, plus looking for books for the second-grade class she teaches at Bonham Elementary School.
This was her first year to shop the sale and she said she couldn't believe the bargains. Pillard, like the other parents and grandparents, said young children prefer old-fashioned paper books to electronic books, so the sale is especially welcomed.
"I was so excited," Pillard said when she learned about the book sale. "I get to come and search through books."