‘If you love books, this is the place to be’
As a child, Jane Mertz used a flashlight to read books late at night under bedcovers.
“I can’t imagine not being able to read,” said Mertz, who has volunteered at the Times Colonist book sale for 14 years to support education and literacy in our community.
“And I can’t imagine being an adult and not being about to figure out how to fill out a form.”
A copy of The Rosie Project was tucked under Mertz’s arm as she stood between the rows of empty tables set up in the Victoria Curling Club for the Times Colonist’s 20th annual book drive.
We’re asking you to help fill those tables by donating good quality, used books at our drive-through book drop-off Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No need to get out of your car.
Since 1998, the people who donate, volunteer and shop at the book sale have raised $4.7 million — including $1.8 million in matching funds from the provincial government through Decoda Literacy Solutions. The money has been distributed to schools and nonprofits doing literacy work on Vancouver Island.
This year, we handed out $272,000 to more than 160 literacy organizations and schools.
“If you love books, this is the place to be,” Mertz said. “The volunteers are great. It’s amazing how many come back every year. We talk books for 2 1⁄2 weeks. It doesn’t get any better.”
Sue Siluch started volunteering seven years ago after coming to the book sale to buy books.
“I’m always looking for volunteer opportunities and this seemed like a lot of fun. Part of the fun is shopping while you work,” said Siluch, who bought 60 books last year.
Penny Heath has volunteered in the children’s book section for the last 14 years.
“I have a firm belief in the cause of literacy,” Heath said.
“I also keep coming back because of the volunteers. They are the most amazing group of people you will ever meet.”
It’s a volunteer-driven event. If you would like to help out, particularly with a bit of the heavy lifting on the collection weekend, please contact Bruce Cousins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer Jack Guthrie sorts through books at the Victoria Curling Club on Thursday.