The Ink Penn

How lucky can a bookworm get? If you live in the Dunwoody area, the answer is lucky enough to have two book sales in September. Coming up first and lasting for one week is the 59th Annual American Association of University Women (AAUW) Bookfair Sept. 24-30. Then, the Friends of the Dunwoody Library Book Sale runs Sep 27 - Oct 1.

Unfortunately for me, I’ll miss both as I’ll be out of town on vacation. Though I prefer to read “real” books, I’ll have my Kindle loaded with plenty of e-books for this trip, some downloaded from the library and others from Amazon.

The first event offers books collected from AAUW book drops around Cobb, Fulton, and DeKalb as well as private donations from individuals and other sources.  You can find a convenient book drop in the Dunwoody Village parking lot between Starbucks and Walgreens.

Not only does this all-volunteer group have plenty of books for sale, but they also recycle books through organizations such as the Dresden School Foundation and the Little Library boxes, which you see around the metro area.  For 2018, they’re donating children’s books to an organization that works with prison inmates. The inmates tape themselves as they read the books aloud and then give the tapes to their children.

In 1960, when the Atlanta AAUW held its first fair, it was the first recycled book sale in Atlanta with about 300 books on tables in a tent in the Lenox Square parking lot.  Other book sales by Goodwill and Brandeis followed, but those no longer exist. I think of the Friends of the Dunwoody Library (FODL) Sale as a descendant of this original 1960 fair.

The FODL, formed in 1970 to assist in improving the Dunwoody Library, is also an all-volunteer organization. Every penny it raises through book sales goes to support projects and programs at the library.

In 2017, the Friends funded $50,000 of books and materials for the library: children’s programs, eclipse-viewing glasses for the community, 120 new chairs for the Williams Room, and more.  They paid for one-quarter of the new stone wall in front of the library in cooperation with the city of Dunwoody and the Dunwoody Garden Club. Also, in partnership with the Garden Club, the Friends added spring and fall flowers to the library entrance and put in perennial plantings. 

In 2017 in honor of Armistice Day, the Friends invited Dr. Virginia Dilkes to share stories from her father’s diaries and memoirs as an engineer who saw combat during World War I. Brandon Lin of the Mobile Military Museum was on hand with a display of WWI artifacts. Many thanks to Doug McKay who suggested and arranged the program.  Charles Edward Dilkes’ book, “Remembering World War I,” is now available in the Dunwoody library.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, they also funded a World War II Day at the library that included a return visit from the Mobile Military Museum. My husband and I enjoyed accompanying Dunwoody WWII veteran Dominic Giovinazzo to the event and witnessing the respect paid him by the many visitors to the exhibit.

Dunwoody is fortunate to have two premier volunteer organizations who do so much for the community. In a world where books seem to take a back seat to television, youtube, smartphones, and who knows what, these organizations are a treasure.

PS. Join local author Gelia Dolcimascolo and illustrator Rob Rice for a book signing of “Effie’s Chance to Dance” Sunday, September 23 from 1:00-3:00 in the Dance Studio at Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

Kathy is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” and “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,” at the Enchanted Forest, Amy’s Hallmark at the Forum and Mansell Crossing, and on Amazon. Contact her at, and follow her on Facebook,

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