Vis­i­tors en­joy search for a good read

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - LAWRENCE GULLERY

The doors opened early on the fi­nal day of the Firth Tower Book Fair as peo­ple lined up out­side ea­ger to find a good read.

The book fair is run by the Mata­mata His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety and the funds will be used to help it with the up­keep of ex­hi­bi­tions at the Firth Tower Mu­seum.

So­ci­ety Pres­i­dent Ernie Keene said there had been a steady num­ber of peo­ple com­ing through the three-day book fair, which opened on Thurs­day.

Satur­day was ex­pected to be qui­eter but proved to be as busy as the pre­vi­ous two days. Book col­lec­tors were among those wait­ing to be let in on Satur­day morn­ing, prompt­ing or­gan­is­ers to open a bit early.

‘‘It’s prob­a­bly a bet­ter turn out than last year. We had 50 ta­bles out for books last year, this time we’ve got 70.’’

Keene es­ti­mated be­tween 10,000 and 11,000 books were do­nated to the book fair this year.

‘‘It’s been a great team ef­fort this year to get ev­ery­thing ready for the first day on Thurs­day. Ev­ery­thing was set up on Wed­nes­day for us and all we had to do was bring the books over.

‘‘We’ve ac­cu­mu­lated the books over the past 12 months for the fair and we’ll start look­ing for new books again straight af­ter this [fair] one.’’

Keene said he was pleased to see peo­ple of all ages come in look­ing for a book to take home.

‘‘We’ve had adults, par­ents and a lot of chil­dren’s books go­ing out.

‘‘So it’s good to see that chil­dren aren’t just at home play­ing on their iPads, they’re look­ing for books to read too.’’

Keene said the funds will help the so­ci­ety man­age the ex­hi­bi­tions and dis­plays for peo­ple to en­joy at the Firth Tower Mu­seum.

‘‘We’ve got a lot of de­vel­op­ment plans for the mu­seum over the com­ing years but it’s all got to get past coun­cil first.’’

Keene, who had been in­volved with the so­ci­ety for about five years, was also wait­ing for the re­sults of the lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions on Satur­day, for the Mata­mata Ward of the Mata­mataPi­ako District Coun­cil.

He said the so­ci­ety was hope­ful the coun­cil would con­tinue its keen in­ter­est in the mu­seum over the com­ing three-year term. He also wanted to en­cour­age more vol­un­teers to be­come in­volved.

‘‘We have a vol­un­teers day every Wed­nes­day morn­ing from 8.30am. We have a huge range of peo­ple, skills and knowl­edge which is very valu­able.’’

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