Neil Dunlap travels 70 miles every year during December to visit the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, Georgia, but he doesn’t go for the art exhibitions—he goes for the books.
Every year, the museum hosts its holiday book sale, which includes everything from art books to fiction books.
“Every year, I put it on the calendar, and I’m here to enjoy it,” Dunlap said.
Old Books, New Homes
For 10 years, the book sale has helped the museum clear out old inventory of books and has helped locals clear out their own bookshelves during the holidays.
“You can get a $50 book for $4, which is a pretty good deal,” said Hillary Brown, the director of communications for the Georgia Museum of Art. “And everyone loves art books.”
The museum has its own publishing house and publishes anywhere from four to six books each year. Because of this, books stack up quickly, according to Brown.
Bringing Community Together
Dunlap has gone to the book sale since it started. He’s a bookseller who sells his finds in antique malls in Lavonia and Greenville.
“I do sell some, but I also keep a lot,” Dunlap said.
This year, he left with 25 books, but he’s had even more successful years. Last year, he bought about 100 books.
“It’s the good people you meet,” Dunlap said. “And the occasional good book that you find.”
Most of the attendees at the book sale each year include book dealers like Dunlap, but the event also brings together art students and other locals who are on the hunt for affordable finds.
Joe Clancy, an Athens local, is another regular at the book sale. A retired photographer who took an interest in painting, Clancy always comes to the sale to find his next best art book.
Clancy also takes studio art classes at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, and his favorite images to paint are actually his own photos.
“I like the freedom to put up whatever I want to that moves me,” Clancy said.
The Georgia Museum of Art’s Holiday Book Sale will run every day until this Friday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Most of the books range from $1-$4, and prices depend on the size and binding of the book.
Katie Kim is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
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