MAKE A DIFFERENCE: The Dayton Book Fair needs books! And teapots!

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

It’s a hive of activity at the offices of Dayton’s Book Fair Foundation as volunteers prepare for their 51st sale Nov. 11-14 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.

The mission of the Book Fair Foundation, Inc. is to receive and collect donated books which are resold through an annual book fair and other channels in order to raise money for a variety of charitable interests.

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Proceeds from the sale are distributed to three different non-profit recipients each year. This year the beneficiaries are Crayons to Classrooms, Five Rivers Metropark Foundation and Hannah’s Treasure Chest, with a special grant to Community Action Partners to finish funding the new bus stop shelter.

The Dayton Book Fair, the largest sale of secondhand books in the Ohio region, features around 50 tons of books each year. Larkin Vonalt, the Foundation’s executive director, says she used to think that the most important thing they did was to fund other local non-profits through the resale of books. “But in the years I’ve been here I realized that an equally important part of our mission is providing people with a meaningful place to donate their beloved books.”

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

In addition to the sale, the books you donate are redistributed to schools, clinics, nursing homes, soup kitchens, the county jail, and other entities where books are needed. The group also supplies books to Dave Hurwitz for his rolling free-book mobile which you’ve seen around town.

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“Of course, none of the Dayton Book Fair could happen without an army of dedicated volunteers, and we can always use more help, particularly during setup, the Fair and teardown, where people who can lift 40 pounds and/or people who have adding machine skills are in high demand,” Larkin says. " There are also opportunities year-round for all manner of volunteers at the Foundation offices.”

Those interested in volunteering should contact Volunteer Coordinator Allison Fickus at 937-999-4491 or at

Here’s what they need:

· Cookbooks

· Fiction and Nonfiction

· Handicraft books

· History

· Travel

· Geography

· Religious

· Children’s books

· Jigsaw puzzles

· CDs

· Vinyl records

· Games

· DVDs

Note that at this time the group does not want donations of encyclopedias, VHS tapes and magazines.

In addition to books, the Dayton Book Fair is currently interested in receiving your teapots!

“We have very exciting news,” says Vonalt. “Plans are coming along for an actual brick and mortar bookstore at 27 W. First Street in downtown Dayton. The store, which will be named Rabbit Hole Books, will feature books, cards and literary themed gifts. After renovations on the second half of the store are finished in January, we plan to offer coffee and ice cream or cupcakes.”

All books will be one dollar each. In keeping with the Alice in Wonderland theme, the organization is looking for donations of teapots to decorate the bookshop.

Donations can be dropped off at the Foundation Offices, 2181 Embury Park Road. The office is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. There is also a 24-hour secure book drop. After the November sale, pickup can also be arranged if you have a large number of books or are unable to bring them to the office.

“We will temporarily stop taking donations on November 1 as we change gears for the sale set up and over the course of the sale, but will start up again on Saturday, November 19,” Vonalt says. She encourages people to call the office at 937-999-4491 if you have any questions about donations, volunteering or the sale.

“We are bound together by our deep love of books,” Vonalt says.

Want to buy books?

The upcoming book sale will be held Nov. 11-14 at the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 645 Infirmary Road in Dayton.

Admission from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday is $10. Admission is free from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Sunday is Bag Sale Day when you can fill a whole bag with books for $10 per bag. On Monday, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., it’s Clean Sweep Day and you’ll pay $1 admission and take all of the books you want!

For more information, check out


Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith:

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

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