Why We No Longer Support Planned Parenthood.

by Larkin Vonalt

When we separated from Planned Parenthood last autumn, we took the position that the less said, the better. We thought what was important was that the Book Fair would continue and that it would support a wide variety of local groups in our community.

But we were asked about the split more than we expected during the course of the sale. One man, irate upon learning that we were no longer the Friends of Planned Parenthood Book Sale, left his stack of books on the counter and stomped out.

So it seems an answer is in order.

The short answer is that we wanted the money raised to stay in the Dayton area, and we felt that by helping several smaller non-profit groups we could have more positive impact on our own community.

But as with every short answer, there is a longer answer too.

First of all, it had nothing to do with the protesters that camped out at our gates each November, or with the absurd Congressional hearings this summer. We still believe that the issues surrounding women’s health and women’s rights are incredibly important.

But after 40 plus years, it was time for a change.

Planned Parenthood is a global charity with a more than billion-dollar budget. Yes, billion– with a “B”. Our contribution was little more than a drop in their bucket. After the Miami Valley chapter was rolled into the Cincinnati offices of PPSWO, the proceeds from the Dayton Book Fair weren’t even staying in Dayton.

Sadly, there was also an ongoing issue of unpleasantness the personnel from Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio visited on Book Fair volunteers.  Over the course of 2014, some pretty vile insinuations were made about Loft volunteers, some of whom have been with Book Loft for more than three decades.

At the end of the 2014 sale, the two individuals from PPSWO packed up the sale receipts and left the Coliseum, the door slamming shut behind them, as the rest of us worked the sale tear-down. They didn’t say thank you. Hell, they didn’t even say goodbye.

Dear readers, if we had not reorganized ourselves there would not have been a Book Fair at all.

At this year’s Fair, a woman asked me”You stopped supporting them because they weren’t nice to you?”  Well, yes. We are an entirely volunteer operation. It is a more than full-time job for me and for a couple of colleagues— for which we draw no compensation at all. Nothing, not a dime. When we say the Book Fair is a labor of love, we are not kidding.

We do love what we’re doing.  It’s not just about the the money raised for Dayton non-profits. It is also about the service we provide in collecting books, both from organizations and from individuals. It’s about the hundreds of cases of books we give away each year to literacy campaigns, day camps, community kitchens, health clinics, nursing homes, shelters and the like. Even the books that have reached the end of their line, too damaged to be read again, are recycled through a great program at Meadow-dale High School.

We’ve had calls at the Loft from people who want to know if Planned Parenthood will still take their books. We’ve said that we think they’ll take books in boxes at their office at 224 N.  Wilkinson Street. We understand they sell those books through an online consignment service.

Several people reported that when they called PPSWO to ask about the Book Fair they were told “There is no longer a Book Fair.” Sometimes “P” can stand for “petty”, too.

We hope this clears up a few things. If you have questions or want further clarification, your comments are welcome.


1975239_10203310364181143_8619591262727091567_nLarkin Vonalt is the Executive Director of the Book Fair Foundation.



Yes, there’s still time to get a Wristband!


Just think, you don’t have to drive over a day early to leave your box (or chair, or milk crate) in the line. You don’t have to camp out in the parking lot, in mid-November. You can just pre-order your wristband and we’ll send it to you. Pre-sale wristbands are $11 each.

The last day to order a wristband and have it sent through the mail is Friday, November 6th at 5 p.m. eastern standard time. Before the Friday deadline, you can order them online at this link “Wristbands” or by telephone at our office (937) 999-4491.

But even after that, you can still order a wristband and pick it up at will-call at the Fairgrounds Friday morning. The wristbands are sequentially numbered, and the line to get in will be in numerical order. If you are ordering wristbands for pick up at will call, we can only take orders online– as there will be no one at the office to answer the phone. (We’re all working on setting up the Book Fair.)

Of course, we’ll sell the wristbands on the line too. They are $10 day of sale, and with a wristband you can come and go as you please throughout the day. Everyone in your group needs a wristband for admittance, including teens over 16. Children younger than 16 are admitted free in the company of their parents or another responsible adult.


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!


The Great Book Round Up May 23

It’s the Great Book Round Up Charlie Brown! Next Saturday, from 10 in the morning until 1 p.m., the Book Fair Foundation will have “Book Drops” at various sites around town. If you’ve got too many books, we’ll gladly take your extras! Books are sold at our sale at Montgomery County Fairgrounds November 13-15 to benefit four Dayton area non-profits– Humane Society of Greater Dayton, The Human Race Theatre Company, Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm and the House of Bread Community Kitchen. Please, please share this with your Dayton area friends. Let’s get the word out to get the books in!

You can click on the poster to make it bigger.

round up poster edit