Book­sale’s back


One mag­nif­i­cent sec­ond-hand book binge, two venues, three bliss­ful bib­lio­phillic days, thou­sands of bar­gains – it’s the an­nual Red Cross Book Sale.

The sec­ond top fundraiser in the coun­try for New Zealand Red Cross be­hind the an­nual na­tional ap­peal, opens in the Bar­ber Hall on Walde­grave St this Fri­day at 10am, clos­ing on Sun­day May 29 at 2pm.

Since the last book sale, it’s 25th, Red Cross has opened REaD Books in the for­mer Red Cross Shop premises on Main St.

While 60,000-odd books, jig­saws, games, CDs, DVDs, LPs, sheet mu­sic, mag­a­zines at the ‘‘su­per-bar­gain price’’ of $3 each are re­cy­cled from the Bar­ber Hall, the sale of marked price book bar­gains and col­lec­tors’ spe­cials takes over the Main St book bou­tique which is op­po­site the Rail­way Land.

REaD Books’ Roger Fos­ter says the Main St store will triple in size for two days of the book sale, Fri­day from 10am – 6pm and Satur­day 10am – 4pm, ex­pand­ing out the back into the rooms be­hind the shop, and stocked with 150 ba­nana boxes of books.

‘‘The shop is do­ing re­ally well, bet­ter than we an­tic­i­pated when we started it last year.’’

While the more col­lectible books are at Main St, book sale co­or­di­na­tor Jill Spicer says ev­ery year buy­ers at Walde­grave St of­ten get more bar­gain than they bar­gained for.

‘‘They’re for­ever find­ing books in the $3 sec­tion that if we’d had time, would be in­di­vid­u­ally priced.

‘‘We of­ten hear of peo­ple who’ve found books worth $100 on the $3 ta­bles. Last year a col­lec­tor found a spe­cific Mills & Boon book she bought for 50 cents that was later val­ued at $300.’’

Of course, col­lec­tors and rare books deal­ers have a bet­ter idea of what to look out for.

Roger brings out an ex­am­ple that could eas­ily have made the $3 ta­ble. It’s a 15-page il­lus­trated chil­dren’s book called The Plant

Sit­ter by Gene Zion. Pub­lished in 1974, Roger says look­ing it up on the rare books cat­a­logue sees it val­ued at an un­be­liev­able $800.

There’ll be a hold­ing area at the hall for book pur­chases to help pre­vent arm strain.


Red Cross vol­un­teers Lor­raine Holtham and Gaylene Thomp­son help sort and pack book bar­gains for this week­end’s an­nual Red Cross fes­ti­val of sec­ond-hand books.

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