ST. LOUIS – Sunday kicked off the Jewish Community Center’s biannual used book sale, offering are dozens of genres, and thousands of books to choose from.

“We measure in boxes, I would estimate 20 books a box,” said Hilary Gan, Director of Literary Arts at the JCC. “Between 700 and 1,000 boxes; so up to about 20,000 books, records, CDs.”

The used sale book brought joy to avid readers Courtney Cape and her 5-year-old daughter, Mira.

“We came specifically to get books for her. So Harry Potter books number 1, she got ‘The Cursed Child’ so that’s good. But anything really, we just came to get as much as we could,” she said.

Cape and her family come by every year.

“My husband, he’s here too, he’s shopping for records. But he teaches English, so we’ve fostered her very young to enjoy books and to love to read,” she said.

Since 1978, the JCC has taken donations from the community and used those books to raise money for its Cultural Arts programs. That includes a new Jewish theater, the Jewish Book Festival, and the Jewish Film Festival.

This year, the book sale followed strict COVID guidelines – they require proof of vaccination. Both shots for Pfizer and Moderna, or the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Masks will need to be worn at all times.

“Because we serve vulnerable populations on-site at the JCC, like our daycare and some elderly visitors,” Gan said.

You can also present a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours of entry.

The used book sale runs Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Thursday it runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and you can bring a bag, fill it with as many books as you want and only pay $5.