By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald

Book lovers will have a chance to indulge their love of books this weekend at the Friends of the Killeen Public Library’s annual book sale.

The event raises money for the library’s summer reading program and is one of the library’s largest annual events. However, before area residents get a chance to expand their personal libraries, Friends of the Killeen Public Library members on Friday got a first crack at thousands of books on sale.

“I’m loving it. I haven’t even made it a hundredth of the way in, and I’m already stacking up a box full,” said Raylene Gill, a Killeen mother of four who home-schools her kids. “I’m trying to keep the price reasonable, but I’m getting all kinds of books for them.”

Hardback books go for $1, while paperbacks go for 50 cents. Today, customers can get an even better deal. The library is selling books for $3 a bag from 2 to 3 p.m.

The annual sale is a highlight for library volunteers such as Beverly Kittinger, who is known as the “book sale queen” by library staff.

“I’ve been working on these book sales for 15 years,” she said. “I love the experience. The money we use primarily from here goes for children’s programming. It takes care of the summer reading program and maybe a Christmas or Halloween event during the year.”

Her husband, Karl Kittinger, serves as the treasurer for the Friends of the Killeen Public Library. He said last year’s sale raised more than $5,000 for children’s programming.

Most of the books were donated by library patrons or are materials withdrawn from the library because of their age or condition. Selections include reference and history materials and romance novels.

“I’m looking for nonfiction primarily — history, biography, that kind of thing,” said Josh Smith, a Temple resident who makes a point of coming to Killeen’s book sale. “Judging by this sale (Friends of the Killeen Public Library) does a great job.”