DOVER -- There's a lot of, well, stuff at the Community Hospice Giant Garage Sale. And one thing there is definitely a lot of is books.
Avid reader Lanson Stern brought in 1,500 of his own books in the back of a pick-up truck Tuesday afternoon to the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds where Hospice volunteers were collecting donations for the garage sale, which begins Aug. 3.
"I'm trying to clear out my house," Stern said. He lives near Kensington in Columbiana County.
Rather than throw the books away to make room in his house, Stern decided to donate them, like he's done in the past.
"I went to two or three different libraries," he said. "I'd rather somebody enjoy them."
But that didn't solve his problem.
When he heard about the Union Hospital Auxiliary seeking book donations, he contacted them first. But Stern had too many books for the auxiliary to take in, said Aubrey Moore, who does marketing and admissions at Schoenbrunn Health Care.
As a member of the auxiliary, Moore said the organization resells donated books. Once she spread the word about seeking donations via social media, she learned Stern had about 5,000 to 6,000 books he wanted to donate.
And yes, Stern has read them all.
He's read his thousands of books at least two times each. Some he's read more than that because there's always something new he learns each time he reads it.
"I love to read," he said.
Stern collected a lot of the books he owns while serving in the United States Navy.
"Some of these books have been to Australia, Singapore, all over the Mediterranean with me," he said.
Though about 4,000 books remain at his home, there's a lot more than that Stern has read. His cellphone has about 500 books downloaded on it, and his Kindle has even more. He said it takes him about a day to read a book with a few hundred pages in it. Some longer books take more time.
The books were being organized by Stern, Moore and other volunteers Tuesday afternoon. The genres include science-fiction (Stern's favorite), western, history, drama and military fiction. There's roughly 400 to 500 hardback and 1,000 paperback books for sale. Some authors in the bunch include James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel and Tom Clancy.
The garage sale is set for Aug. 3 from 4 to 8 p.m., Aug. 4 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Aug. 5 from 8 a.m. to noon.