City’s Red Cross bookshop turns a page
Palmerston North’s bargain book hunters will be able to indulge again when the Red Cross bookshop reopens at a new location in Church St on Monday.
The secondhand bookstore had to close in February when it was forced out of the Red Cross Centre in Main St by a report of a poor seismic strength rating.
Branch president Don Thomas said while administration and immigration support staff were able to remain in the meantime, the whole building would soon be empty and the property was going out for tender.
The book collection and booksorting work had moved temporarily to the vacant, former Terrace End Bowling Club rooms in Summerhays St.
Annual book sale organiser, volunteer Jill Spicer, said the availability of the large clubhouse had been a lucky find because the old premises had been groaning under the accumulation of books caused by the Covid-19 lockdown cancellation of last year’s sale.
‘‘We had 18 months worth of boxes of books and our normal storage just could not cope.’’
The new venue is in the shopping centre on the corner of Church and Cook streets, opposite the fire station and next to the Toy Library.
Spicer said she was delighted with the corner premises, which had plenty of parking, and the tenancy next door for its 60-odd volunteers to do book-sorting work.
Boxes ready for next year’s book sale lined one wall so far. Approaching next Queen’s Birthday Weekend, the storage space would be full.
The book sale would have been running for 30 years if not for Covid-19 lockdown, and had grown from a $1000 fundraiser in its first year to be worth more than $140,000.
Spicer said one of her favourite book sale stories was about the families who planned their visits from Australia home to Palmerston North to coincide with the sale, so their children could experience the sale they enjoyed when they were growing up.
The shop was about one-third larger than the Main St shop and would open for longer hours, from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.
Shop manager Val Harrison said more than 20 volunteers had spent the past week busy stocking the shelves in preparation for reopening.
Some people had already asked to come in and browse, and drop-offs were also happening.
First aid training had moved to a new centre in Dahlia St.
The new Read Book Store opens at 10am on Monday. It will be the place for people to drop off donations of books, puzzles, games, CDS, DVDS, records and sheet music. Other secondhand goods donations should be taken to the Tremaine Avenue shop.