Another chapter of Bookarama
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.