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.