Books not over priced, Rotary says
Criticism that books are overpriced at the annual Rotary Book Sale in Invercargill has not stopped thousands of people buying nearly 40,000 books in the last three days.
Rotary Club of Invercargill member David MacDonald, chairman of the book sale organising committee, said the sale at the Civic Theatre, from Friday to Sunday, was incredible.
More than 40,000 books, which were donated by members of the public, went on sale, and only about 3000 were not sold. The unsold books were taken to the recycling centre to be pulped, he said.
There was some online criticism before the sale that the books had been too expensive in previous years.
But MacDonald said he had received no such feedback in the last three days.
The club charged anywhere between 50 cents and $5 per book, he said.
"Generally the public are quite accepting of the pricing.
"There's something for everyone and at the end of the day it's a fundraiser to go back to the community."
Money raised from the book sale was donated to good causes and charities throughout the year.
A lot of the books donated by members of the public for the sale were basically new, having only been read once before, he said.
"If you go to a book shop how much are they going to cost you there?"
Those people who went to the sale on Sunday afternoon got a bargain, with boxes of books selling for $10 each and bags of books selling for $5 each.
MacDonald said there were never less than 100 people at the Civic Theatre venue browsing for books throughout the three days of the sale.
"I think it was fantastic. It was an unbelievable event. The people came out in their droves.
"I think we had a record number of books come in and a record number of books go out again."
More than $250,000 has been raised from the Rotary Book Sale in the last 37 years, but it was too early to say how much was raised this year, MacDonald said.
Donations to groups around Southland from the book sale profits over the years have ranged from a "few hundred dollars" to the purchase a bus for Southland Hospital to transfer patients, he said.
- The Southland Times