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Man's huge book collection goes up for sale in Bethel


PITTSBURGH (AP) (AP)ong> - A collection of about 150,000 books amassed by a man who was unable to open a Pittsburgh-area bookstore before his death is on sale.

According to Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE, the books will be available to the public to buy Saturday and Sunday at the old Kensington Electric building in Bethel.

The collection is larger than that of most local libraries and even tops the 2012 circulation of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Downtown and Business branch.

Paul Radion Jr.'s collection includes cookbooks, textbooks, literary classics, nonfiction, books in other languages, rare books, first editions and autographed books.

"We want to get them out of here," his daughter, Karen Watkins, said Thursday while preparing for the sale. "It's overwhelming at times. What does one do with 150,000 books?"

Watkins said a sale last fall barely made a dent in the collection, and now the books are organized on shelves, but three trailers remain half-full of books.

Radion died March 1 at age 65.

When he moved back to the Pittsburgh area from New Hampshire in 2009, he brought with him six tractor-trailers full of books from Sunapee Books, his store in Newport, N.H., Watkins said.