Carbondale's community connector

Indulge in the analogue while supporting nonprofits

Locations: News Published

By Megan Tackett
Sopris Sun Staff

Money talks, as the adage goes. During Potato Day weekend, a little money can say — and do — a lot. As both printed books and vinyl records continue to enjoy industry-wide renaissances, locals will have the opportunity to expand their collections in both arenas without paying retail prices — all while helping two Carbondale nonprofits.

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Carbondale Homeless Assistance (CHA) will be temporarily taking over the 689 building on Main Street for their second annual book sale from 9 a.m. Oct. 6 to 3 p.m. Oct. 8.

“We’re filling a niche because the libraries don’t do their annual book sales anymore,” said Lynn Kirchner, owner of Amore Realty and CHA founder.  “They have a nook or a room in the library that has books for sale all year round, so they don’t typically don’t have their big sale.” However, the libraries play a big part in this weekend’s fundraiser, she added.

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“Last year, when we did it, we got books from all the different libraries, from Aspen all the way to…Rifle. They brought us books — and then they came and shopped for books, so it was an exchange. We’re doing that again this year; we’ve got the cooperative effort of all the libraries, which is wonderful,” she said.

All proceeds from the sale will benefit CHA directly, which works to provide resources for the area’s habitat-challenged population, as Kirchner described homelessness and almost-homelessness. The organization works with the Carbondale Recreation and Community Center to purchase shower passes so that people have a way to maintain their hygiene — this is particularly important if they are working, she said.

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“A lot of them are there by misfortune, whether it’s a lost job, or an illness, or they lost their home… whatever, there’s some misfortune that happened. It’s not that they’re lazy — there are some people with drug and alcohol problems, there’s people with mental illness, [but] for the most part, our local community of homeless is not that venue. They want to make themselves good community members,” she said.

Shoppers won’t find any price tags at the book sale — everything is by donation. “It’s ‘what is it worth to you?’” Kirchner said about pricing. “The recommendation is a buck a book. But some of those books are $80, $90 books — they’re gorgeous. We’ve got a couple donations coming in from National Geographic and stuff that are just amazing books — they’re beautiful. So we hope to get maybe $25 for a book like that.”

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Curling up with a new-to-you book is a special pastime, and it’s one often made better with music. For those wanting to complete the experience, they can head to the KDNK record sale next to the stage at Sopris Park during Potato Day. For the true audiophile, Luke Nestler, KDNK program director, music director and DJ, warns that there may be a line before the sale even starts.

“There’s a lot of collectors out there who come to the record sale,” he said. “Some people will be there at 8 o’clock before we even set up waiting first in line: they want the first crack at it.”

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The KDNK record sale is a longtime local tradition. “Shoot, we’ve been doing it forever. I came on staff in 2004, and it had been going at least a decade before that,” Nestler said. “You know it’s a tradition when the same faces show up. And another part of it that’s kind of cool, too, if you put a tracker on an album and see where it went, it would start at the record sale and come back around to the record sale.”

And, again, everything is a dollar. Nestler estimates that there will be more than 1,000 CDs to pore through and about 500 vinyl records available at the sale. “We always skim the top, cause our library has the priority,” he said about sorting through the boxes of donated music. “Once we’ve pulled the good stuff out [the rest goes to the sale]. But we alway miss some.”

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Last year, Nestler recounted, they missed a big one. Thankfully, the would-be buyer pointed out the station’s mistake in including it in the sale and let it keep the collector’s item.

“Mark Zoller —  he’s one of our DJs — he found a Beatles White Album and it’s like, ‘well we have like 10 copies of Beatles White Album,’ and he was, ‘no, no… look at this.’ And it was a stamp number on the White Album. And he said, ‘this is worth a thousand bucks!’” Nestler said through laughter. Serial numbers stamped on the cover of the album proves an album is a first-edition pressing.

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While shoppers aren’t likely to come across anything of that magnitude, “there are a lot of hidden gems,” KDNK station manager Gavin Dahl said. And KDNK members have an extra bonus: they can raid Nestler’s “secret stash,” a thank-you perk of which Dahl encouraged every member to take advantage.