Spring Has Sprung at the Book Loft



Spring has sprung at the Book Loft! We are once again open for extended hours through the summer and early fall.

You can find us here Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Book Loft is located at 2181 Embury Park Rd. in Dayton. (Embury Park runs between Keowee and Ridge Streets along the Miami River– we’re next door to the MetroParks Police Station.)

We welcome donations of books, records, puzzles, games, movies, magazines, sheet music, posters and prints. (Yes, we’ll take your encyclopedias too..) We have people here who can help unload your car. Or if you simply can’t manage to bring your books to us, we can come and pick them up from you. We even have boxes for you to use.

We’ve chosen three wonderful local organizations as beneficiaries of our sale. They are the K12 Gallery / TEJAS, the Learning Tree Farm and FilmDayton. You can click on their names to learn more about each one of them. We are very excited to be supporting arts and education in the Dayton community this year.

As always, we welcome new volunteers. If you love books, and would like to help us sort and price for the sale, we’d love to meet you. Stop by during any of our open hours, or send us a note via this site or email if you’d like more information. For book lovers, everyday at the loft is a little like Christmas, you just never know what’s going to be in those boxes. Our volunteers range in age from 20 to 93, and come from all walks of life– what we have in common is our love of books.

You may have heard news about the Fairgrounds— but as it turns out, we have been invited to hold our sale during our regular weekend, Thursday November 10th through Monday, November 14th in the Coliseum Building at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.

The Book Roundups this year will be Saturday, May 21st from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. and Saturday, August 20th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. We will post a reminder and locations closer to the dates.

Any questions please feel free to call us at the Loft (937) 999-4491.


How to Be a Book Fair Beneficiary

Each year, we pick three to five organizations to share in the net profits from the Book Fair. In 2015, we had four: House of Bread Community Kitchen, Human Race Theatre Co., Humane Society of Greater Dayton and Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm.

For 2016, we are looking for three Dayton area non-profits to be our beneficiaries for the Book sale.  It’s easy to apply– simply write us a letter postmarked no later than January 9, 2016 detailing the merits of your organization. The letter should be sent to the Book Fair Foundation, Inc., 2181 Embury Park Road, Dayton, OH 45414. The board will meet over the weekend of January 16th, and the three groups chosen will be announced Tuesday, January 19th.

The letter can also be sent via email to bookfair@earthlink.net

There are a couple of things to keep in mind. We’d like to keep the money in our own community– the Greater Dayton area. (And yes, that would include Springfield, Middletown, Tipp City– but Cincinnati and Columbus are beyond our reach.)

We really would like the relationship between us and the recipients to be something of a partnership. We are a small non-profit ourselves, staffed entirely by volunteers. If your group can share some volunteers to help us during roundups, or at the sale or at the loft, that would be marvelous.

One of the things that happened when we separated from Planned Parenthood is that we lost a particular kind of customer– those people who came to buy books because they knew the money would benefit something they cared about. If you can help promote the Book Fair through your own organization, it will really help build sales. (To clarify, we are not asking that you spend money on this– free publicity is great– emails, newsletters, Facebook pages and the like.)

If you have a place for a Book Collection barrel, we’d love that. (We come and collect the books throughout the year.) Every barrel  has a poster which lists information about the Fair and its beneficiaries.  We will also mention your group in every print ad, on our website, Facebook page, bookmarks, on the radio and in television appearances. So there’s a little extra publicity for you too.

We are exploring the possibility of an Irish-themed evening sometime in March to help with overhead costs– tentatively we’re calling it “St. Patrick’s Festival of the Book.” If it happens that you have event space you’d be willing to share for that one evening, please let us know.

All of that said, we understand that there are some fantastic non-profits in the Dayton area doing very, very important work who don’t have space, time, money, or volunteers to spare. Send us an application anyway.

We hope to provide grants to a broad spectrum of groups working in the area of arts, education, conservation, environment, preservation, literacy, and social welfare– but we will consider any group that applies, provided that organization  is registered with the state, has an IRS non-profit designation and is located within the geographical area we aim to serve.

If you have questions, feel free to send an inquiry through this page, by email (bookfair@earthlink.net) or leave a message at the office and we will call you back. Our number is (937) 999-4491.



Two Extraordinary Volunteers

Tony Bent and Pat Barcelona have each donated more than 30 years of service.
Tony Bent and Pat Barcelona have each donated more than 30 years of service.


At the end of our regular Loft season and before the crazy days of the Book Fair, we had a little get-together at the Loft to thank our all-volunteer staff. In particular, we wanted to honor these two individuals, who each have spent more than three decades sorting and pricing books for the Dayton Book Fair.

Pat Barcelona– on the right– started first, when the loft was on the block of East Third between Wayne and Webster, in the building with colorful murals. Back in those days, you had to ring the bell, and someone upstairs would open the window and throw down the key so you could let yourself in. That was nearly 35 years ago, in 1981.  Pat turned 90 this summer and she is excited that we’ll have Wednesday hours over the winter as that doesn’t interfere with her regular Thursday card game.

When Tony Bent (on the left) started a year later, the loft had moved to the Phillips Building on Springfield Street. He turned 92 this year and amidst his world travels and globe-trotting adventures he’s found time to come in from Yellow Springs to price books. For people who live in Yellow Springs, Tony has another role– his gold-colored van is a drop off spot for books to come to the loft.  We had a phone call this year from a man in Yellow Springs who said he used to drop his books there “but that fellow must be more than 90 now, so I’m sure he doesn’t do that anymore.”  (Yes, he still does that.)

Tony is hanging up his apron this autumn and it will not be the same without him there. But his van will go on being a collection spot for the Book Fair Foundation and he promises that he’ll stop in to see us once in awhile.

We have a wonderful group of volunteers. It’s amazing the volume of books they sort and process (50 tons this past year!) and what charming, interesting, intelligent folks they are– from all walks of life, and stripes of every interest, we are bound together by our love for books.

A special thanks to Pat and Tony for their many years of service, and their excellent company at the loft.


A Mountain Range of Books

Not just a mountain of books. It’s a mountain range of book that fills our 4000 sf workshop to bursting. We’re still sorting and packing. And sorting. And packing.

The response last weekend to our call for more books was more than anyone ever expected. We estimate that in all we took in around 14 tons of donations.

And yes, of course, we would still be happy to have more. The more books we have, the more we can sell, the more money we can provide to our four beneficiaries this year. (Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, House of Bread Community Kitchen, Human Race Theatre Co. and the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.)

So, sure bring ’em in! (Or let us know if you need us to come and help you with them. (937) 999-4491.)

We are ever indebted to Meredith Moss at the Dayton Daily News for writing about us. And an enormous thank you to all who helped and all who donated. We are humbled by your kindness.

The last load comes in . . .
The last load comes in . . .

Time for Another Round-Up!

It’s hard to believe how fast the summer is flying by! Seems we were just having the Spring Round-Up and now it’s time for our August book collection shindig. Sites are listed below– and of course we will be at the Book Loft at 2181 Embury Park Rd, in Dayton.

We would love to have your books, records, movies, CDs and puzzles. Yes, we will take magazines and encyclopedias. Your donations are fully tax-deductible. We will sell donated books and other materials at our big sale November 13-16 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, to benefit four local non-profits: The Human Race Theatre Co, the House of Bread Community Kitchen, the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm and the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.

We are still actively looking for volunteers as well, both for our year-round collection and processing workshop, “The Book Loft” and to help with our great big sale. Let us know if you are interested. You can call (937.999.4491) write us via this site or just stop by and say hello!


Volunteer Open House Sunday, August 2


We could use a hand. Or two. Or twenty. And to that end, we’re hosting our first ever Volunteer Open House on Sunday, August 2nd from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Come on by and see what we’re about.

Volunteers are needed  for both our year-round Book Loft and also to help staff our annual Book Sale, November 13-16 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. We have all kinds of different things for folks to do, and of course, it really helps if you love books. See more about specific opportunities for volunteers by clicking here.

Our hours are flexible, we have some off-site volunteer opportunities, the atmosphere at the loft is, um, bookish, and pleasant, and we provide snacks. Our current volunteers range in age from 20 to 92,  and we are united in our love for books.

We understand that you might be a little shy about just ringing up to volunteer, so we thought we’d have a little party so that potential volunteers could come see how we operate and what it is we do.

We are a 501c3 charity. This year our sale benefits the Human Race Theatre Co, the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, the House of Bread Community Kitchen and the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.

The Open House is at our Loft workshop– 2181 Embury Park Rd, in Dayton. Embury Park runs alongside the Great Miami River, just off of Keowee. If you’re driving north on Keowee– after you cross Stanley and cross the bridge, take your first left. We’re the fourth building on the left. Look for the big red sign. If you’re at the Metro Parks Ranger station, you’ve gone too far. (We’re right next door.)

If you’d like more information, feel free to give us a call. 937.999.4491.

We Priced a Ton of Children’s Books!

A big pile of empty boxes gives a great feeling of accomplishment.
A big pile of empty boxes gives a great feeling of accomplishment.

Well, okay, more like 800 pounds if you want to get technical! But we cleared off a whole skid, left a whole lot of empty boxes and now have many, many carefully priced and packed children’s books in their respective categories of Baby books, picture books, chapter books, and books for teens. There were even enough books in there to fill a box for homeschooling and parenting. We had 12 volunteers today and we’re very grateful for all of their handwork and to Wendy for her wonderful peanut butter pie!

A happy group makes quick work of three pizzas.
A happy group makes quick work of three pizzas.

If you meant to come out and the timing just wasn’t right, don’t despair, we had so much fun today we may well do it again in September sometime. Watch this space for updates.

Pausing for Lunch
Pausing for Lunch

Children’s Book Pricing Blitz!


Next Sunday, June 14th, we’re having a children’s book-pricing event at the Book Loft. Dayton-area friends if you’d like to come and help, that would be Awesome. There will be snacks and pizza and the like, and it’s actually a lot of fun to go through all these children’s books. You’re welcome to take a few home with you too. If you just want to come out and be social on a Sunday afternoon, we’d love to see you.  Call 937.999.4491  for more info.

We Could Use a Few Good Hands.


We’re up and going again at the Book Loft and we could sure use some more volunteers to help sort books and records. If you have a particular affinity for rare or unusual books, we can also use some assistance with our online sales.

In general volunteers pick one day a week to stop by, but if you can only come a few hours a month, even that is very helpful.

Our open hours are Tuesday 10 to 3, Wednesday 3 pm to 7 pm, Thursday 10 to 3 and Saturdays 10 am to 1 pm.

Our volunteers range in age from 20 to 90, about equally divided between men and women. The ability to heft a box of books is useful, but if you can’t, we always have someone who can lift it for you. The main thread that we all have in common is our love of books.

Stop by and say hello, send us an email at bookfair@earthlink.net, give us a call at 999-4491. We’d love to hear from you.

We Open for the Season Tuesday March 10!

Author Agatha Christie at her desk.
Author Agatha Christie at her desk.

Are you surrounded by stacks of books? Need a place to bring them? Would you like the sale of your books to support several  Dayton-based charities? We’ve got the spot for you. It’s the Book Fair Foundation, reselling books to benefit good works since 1970.  You can find us at 2181 Embury Park Road. Beginning Tuesday, March 10, we’re open Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 to 3, Wednesdays 3 to 7 and on Saturdays from 10 to 1.  If you have a large number of books to donate (or just have questions, or maybe you want to volunteer) you can call us at 937.999.4491