An­other chap­ter of Bookarama

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ERIN TASKER

Thou­sands of books have been sorted, cat­e­gorised and boxed up ready to be laid out for the Rotary Club of Ash­bur­ton’s big­gest an­nual fundraiser.

Bookarama opens at the Ash­bur­ton Sports Hall on Tan­cred Street on Mon­day, and there will be a line of peo­ple ready and wait­ing for the doors to open in the hope of find­ing a rare trea­sure, or a bar­gain.

The club’s Bookarama, a sale of pre-loved books, mag­a­zines, DVDs, videos and jig­saws has been run­ning for more than 35 years, and for ev­ery Bookarama, Lind­say Hol­land has been there.

He’s seen it go from rais­ing around £600 in year one, to rais­ing be­tween $50,000 and $60,000 each year, all of which is given back to the com­mu­nity.

Ten drop-off boxes around Ash­bur­ton have been emp­tied at least once a day and club vol­un­teers have spent count­less hours in re­cent weeks sort­ing around a tonne of books a day at the old Cates grain store on West Street.

‘‘We’ve prob­a­bly got a sim­i­lar amount, or maybe slightly more than last year, and they are good qual­ity,’’ Hol­land said.

Over the years he and his club­mates have got the preBookarama rou­tine down to a fine art, and they al­ways find a few gems as they sort through the thou­sands of do­nated books.

Hol­land said this year’s big find had been a bound edi­tion of The Spec­ta­tor, dat­ing back­ing to 1711. While some of those rare finds are of­ten of great value, this one wasn’t, Hol­land said. Like many old books, old is­sues of The Spec­ta­tor – a weekly mag­a­zine look­ing at the is­sues of the day – can now be found and pur­chased new on­line.

Bookarama’s books are priced any­where from two for $1, and up. Loose change is enough to buy most books, but those rare gems they do find are of­ten priced a lot higher.

Hol­land re­called find­ing an early his­tory book one year, which they were un­able to sell lo­cally, so sent it away to a dealer and got $1500 for it.

More than 1000 banana boxes packed full of books were taken to the Sports Hall on Sat­ur­day, and the mas­sive job of site set up for Bookarama has now be­gun.

‘‘We get a lot of deal­ers come in on the Mon­day morn­ing, and they are look­ing for early first edi­tions and things like that. They do go away with a few bar­gains, that’s why they come,’’ Hol­land said.

Bookarama runs through un­til next Sat­ur­day.


Mike Smith sorts through some of the thou­sands of books set to hit the ta­bles at Bookarama.

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