Sale beckons book buffs
Banana boxes bulging with books are stacked to the ceiling in ranks at Palmerston North’s Red Cross.
Three-thousand cartons containing more than 60,000 volumes, along with puzzles, magazines, board games, DVDs, CDs and vinyl LPs are ready for shipping to the Barber Hall on Waldegrave St next week for New Zealand’s biggest second-hand book sale.
The eagerly awaited four-day sale over Queen’s Birthday Week- end attracts book buffs from all over the country, and while most of the donated items sell for $3, there are higher prices on rare and sought-after books.
Roger Foster, who manages the fulltime Red Cross secondhand bookshop REaD Books on Main St, has been involved with the book sale for at least 22 years.
‘‘I was walking through the Red Cross Christmas Fair in The Square one year, got talking to Don Esslemont who was the Red Cross president at the time, and thought it wouldn’t be a bad organisation to be part of.
‘‘It’s a really good cause. I went to a meeting, and have been on the committee ever since.’’
For months now, volunteers have been busy pre-sorting the donated books under four basic headings - children, non-fiction, fiction and New Zealand, before refining those into more than 100 different categories.
‘‘There are 14 different categories just for the children’s books.’’
Volunteers have also made sure that puzzles and board games don’t have any bits missing.
Foster said New Zealand books attract particular attention and there are plenty of goodies for bargain hunters to seek out.
‘‘Anything by Barry Crump. His Wild Pork and Watercress was the basis for Hunt For the Wilderpeople.’’
There are also copies of that other Crump favourite, A Good Keen Man.
‘‘We’ve got some beautiful stuff in the old and collectible books section.’’
Among them are books dealing with World War I - The New Zealand Expeditionary Force Roll of Honour 1914 - 18 published in 1924, and the 1926 publication, The Maoris in the Great War.
Anyone willing to help move the boxes of books into the hall, or to work during the sale is welcome to enquire at Red Cross.
‘‘Turn up - we still need volunteers. There’s plenty of stuff to do,’’ Foster said.
Roger Foster, Red Cross book sale convenor with one of 3000 laden banana boxes awaiting eager readers next week.