We Give Away Books Too

We’re known for collecting books for our big sale, but we also give books away.  We have a fair amount of foot traffic past our office– usually people walking to the bus stop– so we’ve started giving away books under our big umbrella.

A few weeks ago we had a call from the Ohio Reading Corps, a branch of Americorps, wondering if we could give them some books for their reading program. We could. Here are some of our volunteers with an Ohio Reading Corps tutor, just before we figured out how to put a pallet’s worth of books into his Honda Accord.

We give books to Dave Hurwitz as well– we hope you’ve seen his wonderful truck full of free books at festivals and in the Oregon District.

We’ve given books to camps, preschools, clinics, community kitchens, shelters, and jails. If you have a group who could use some books, let us know.

You can reach us at 937.999.4491 or send us a message through this site.

And don’t forget that on the last day of our sale, Monday from eight a.m. to noon, you can pay one dollar to get in and take away all the books you want.


Don’t Be Confused . . .

Yes, we know there’s a book sale going on at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds this weekend. That’s not us.

That’s our good friends from the Friends of the Dayton Metro Library– you’ll remember their great sales at Hara Arena. Nothing’s sorted, but everything is just a buck. Stop in and see if you can find something to read! Their sale goes on through today, Saturday, June 3rd at 5 p.m.

The Dayton Book Fair will be back in our regular spot Friday, November 10th through Monday, November 13th. Wristbands for Friday admission will go on sale at 12:01 a.m. October 1, 2017 on this website. .

It’s Round Up Time!

We are thrilled to announce that through the generosity and cooperation of Grismer Tires we are extending Round Up at every Grismer location in the Miami Valley, Springfield and Troy from Monday, May 15th through Monday, May 22nd. Just bring your books inside to the barrel in the waiting room– don’t forget to get your receipt and new bookmark from the Grismer staff while you’re there.

And of course, on Saturday, May 20th, we’ll be at all our regular locations as well, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and at our Book Loft Location, 2181 Embury Park Road, Dayton at least ’till 3 pm and probably longer.

  • David’s Church 170 W. David Rd, Kettering
  • Davies Residence 3975 Forest Ridge Blvd, Riverside
  • Fickus Residence, 201 King St.Yellow Springs
  • First United Methodist Church, 60 E. North St. Springboro
  • Greene County Historical Society, 74 W. Church St., Xenia
  • Harmony Creek Church 5280 Bigger Rd. Kettering
  • K12 Gallery 341 S. Jefferson St. Dayton
  • Miami Valley Unitarian Church, 8690 Yankee Rd. Centerville
  • Polk Grove Church, 9190 Frederick Pike, Englewood
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 33 W. Dixon, Oakwood
  • Trinity Church 821 N. Central, Fairborn.

Please note that we will not be collecting at Montgomery County Fairgrounds this spring, even though it said so in the ad– but we WILL be at Fairgrounds for our annual sale, this year Friday November 10 through Monday, November 13, 2017.

The Book Fair Foundation is a 501c3 registered charity, and your donations are tax-deductible. Proceeds from this year’s sale benefit Artemis Center, Caesar’s Ford Theatre Company and Dayton Public Radio.

We welcome donations of books, vinyl records, VHS, DVD, CDs, puzzles, board games, prints and maps.

If you have questions, just give us a call– 937.999.4491.

(And if you can’t manage to bring your donations to us, give us a call to ask about our free pick-up service.)

The Joy in Giving

Someone asked us recently what was one of the best things we did this year. And this was it, hands down.


There’s nothing like handing somebody deserving some cash they can really use.

FilmDayton will use the 10 grand we gave them for workshops. Learning Tree Farm needed work done on their well. K12 will be able to use the money they got from us to expand the occupancy of their building from 69 to more than 300.

This feels good. All the work that we do each year, nearly every single day of the year to make the Book Fair happen is returned to us in gasps of surprise, peals of laughter, pure unadulterated joy.  It feels good to give away money.

Today, December 31,  is the last day to get your applications in the mail to us, or to drop them by our office at 2181 Embury Park Road. We just need a letter– and the particulars are at this post– How to Be a Beneficiary.

We had a fantastic time this year working with Lisa, Rebecca, and Loralynn– and a shout out to Elaine Bonner for her work in bringing this group together as well. It gives us great pleasure to know that the three beneficiaries from 2016 will stay on as friends of the Book Fair Foundation, as we get ready for the 2017 sale.

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How to Be a Beneficiary


As it’s “Giving Tuesday,” this seems an appropriate time to talk about how to apply to be a beneficiary of the the Book Fair Foundation, and what the process is for choosing next year’s beneficiaries.

The application process could not be simpler— there’s no form or report or presentation. We simply need a letter from your group. Your letter should tell us something about the group’s mission, your role in our community, and how you envision a partnership with the Book Fair Foundation.

There are three requirements for application:

  1. Your group must be a registered organization in the State of Ohio.
  2. Your location must be within 25 miles of the city of Dayton
  3. You must be a 501c3.

Letters must be received by December 31, 2016.

The board will meet early in January to talk about the applications we’ve received. Some of the things that we consider is what kind of “match” the applicant feels like for us— does this seem like a group whose mission is in concert with our own? We also look at the 990-N documents that each organization has filed. We work very hard to make the book fair a success. We’d like the gift we give to have significant impact on the organizations we choose.

Dayton Book Fair beneficiaries share equally in the net proceeds generated by the fair– and this year we will again choose three organizations.

If your group is chosen as a beneficiary, there are certain requirements you should be aware of.

We require 40 volunteer hours from your organization. It can be 40 people for one hour, 4 people for ten hours, one person for 40 hours— the volunteer hours can be at the sale, or during one of our two roundups or during the year at the Book Loft, or a combination of any of those. At least four of those forty hours must be fulfilled on the afternoon of November 13th,2017 the Monday following the sale.

Additionally, we expect that you will promote the 47th Annual Dayton Book Fair among your own volunteers, staff and fans– through newsletter, website, Facebook page, emails or tweets. We want the people who love your organization to help support you by supporting the Book Fair.

Letters of application should be sent to the Book Fair Foundation, 2181 Embury Park Rd, Dayton, OH 45414. You are also welcome to drop off your letter at our Embury Park Road office. (Look for the big red sign in the yard.) We are open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 10 to 3 and Wednesday 1 to 7.

We will announce the beneficiaries of the 2017 Dayton Book Fair on Monday, January 16th, 2017 on this site, on our Facebook page and on our telephone greeting.

And remember, if we don’t choose you this year, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t choose you another year, so even if you are disappointed, be sure to apply again.

Getting Ready for the Sale

2016dbffposterPreparations are in high gear at the Book Loft as we get ready for our 46th annual Book Fair. Wristbands are now available– and you can still secure a spot in the first 100 admissions into the fair. But that won’t last for long! Our Paypal button is working now, and you can also order wristbands by calling the office 937.999.4491.

We are looking forward to another great sale with the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, in our regular building at the Coliseum.

We’re starting a day earlier this year– on Thursday– and there is an admission charge Thursday only. Friday, Saturday and Sunday admission are free, and Sunday is our bag day. (Still just $7.50 per bag and that includes the sales tax too!) We’ll have some special events Saturday afternoon and evening, so stay tuned.

Again this year, you can help us on Monday at our “Clean Sweep” — just pay a dollar to get in and take all the books you like.

There’s still time to donate books for this year’s sale and if you’d especially like your donations to go to FilmDayton, K12 Gallery and TEJAS and the Learning Tree Farm, be sure to get them to us by October 21st.

Time for the August Round Up!


Our August Round Up is Coming! Have more books than you know what to do with? Old vinyl records taking up too much room? Never going to watch that DVD again? We’ll help all your great stuff find a good home at our November sale, so bring it to us during our August Round-up Saturday, August 20th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.We have 12 drop off locations around town, and of course, you can bring donations to our Book Loft at 2181 Embury Park Road.

Beavercreek Senior Center 3868 Dayton-Xenia Rd., Beavercreek
David’s Church 170 W. David Ave, Kettering
Davies Residence 3975 Forest Ridge Blvd, Riverside
First United Methodist Church, 60 E. North St. Springboro
Harmony Creek UC Church, 5280 Bigger Road
K12 Gallery 341 S. Jefferson St. Dayton
Learning Tree Farm 3376 S. Union, Dayton
Miami Valley Unitarian 8690 Yankee, Centerville
Montgomery County Fairgrounds 1043 S. Main St. Dayton
Polk Grove UC Church 9190 Frederick Pike, Englewood
St. Paul’s Episcopal 33 W. Dixon, Oakwood
Trinity UCC Church 821 N. Central, Fairborn

Your donations are tax deductible and we will be happy to provide you with a receipt for your records.

If you can’t make the Round Up, or it is difficult for you to bring your books to us, give us a call and we can schedule a pick up for you. Our office number is (937) 999-4491

Our sale is Thursday November 10 through Monday, November 14 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, and this year proceeds from the sale benefit FilmDayton, K12 Gallery & TEJAS and the Learning Tree Farm.

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.


Looking Back at the 2015 Book Fair



It’s hard to believe that it’s all behind us now. A good many of us did nothing but eat, sleep and breathe Book Fair from Monday, November 9th when set up began to Tuesday, November 17th, when we got the last of our stuff back to the Book Loft. In that period of time, we sold about 80,000 books and made a little money for our beneficiaries– House of Bread Community Kitchen, Human Race Theatre Company, Humane Society of Greater Dayton and Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm.

See the photos here

One big change for next year — we’re adding an extra day. The sale will begin Thursday, November 10th and run through Monday, November 14th. Mark your calendars now. .



$7.50 a Bag!

This is Bag Day — all the books you can get in a grocery bag for $7.50! Still nearly 70,000 books to choose from! Come on out and see us and help us support Humane Society of Greater Dayton, Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, Human Race Theatre Company and the House of Bread Community Kitchen!  Hours today are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., admission is free and yes, we have shopping carts!