Book enthusiasts well-prepared for sale

Waitara's Anne Dixon finds a keeper.
Waitara's Anne Dixon finds a keeper.

The joy on people's faces as they filled their arms with fresh books at the TSB Stadium yesterday was infectious.

More than 400 people queued up around the New Plymouth building, waiting to enter the 24-hour book sale when the clock struck 12pm.

Okato pair Teresa Goodin and Mel Abbott were near the back of the line when spoken to by the Taranaki Daily News, but they said that was all part of the excitment.

"You get heart palpitations the closer you get to the door," said Ms Goodin.

The seasoned book sale attendees brought boxes with trolleys to this year's event, after struggling with heavy bags in previous years.

It's one of the most exciting times of the year," said Ms Abbott.

"You've got to be focused."

Inside the building it was all action as people hunted down their preferred genres.

Waitara's Anne Dixon, 64, had her grocery trolley ready to fill with early settlers books.

"They're the ones I like," she said.

After attending every year, Mrs Dixon said she had more than 1000 books at home, but did try to sell them when she could.

"My husband calls the house a rabbit warren. Yes, I'm a hoarder," she said.

"But I've got to finish the one I'm reading at home before I start on any of these."

Another book enthusiast searching frantically was Bill "first through the door" Cunningham.

The Papakura man had missed only one book sale in its 23-year history, and was always first inside for best pick.

Mr Cunningham arrived outside at "seven minutes to five" yesterday morning and was on the hunt for sci-fi and fantasy books, or anything that jumped out and grabbed him.

Book sale convener Bill Campbell said it was brilliant to see the crowd coming through, and hoped they would continue to trickle in over the 24 hours.

While a ball-park figure of $90,000 was hoped for, event instigator Bryan Robb said they would be happy with any amount.

Mr Robb, who started it all 23 years ago, was thrilled the sale was still going strong.

"It won't go away, it just keeps getting bigger and better. It's one of the most successful charities I've ever been involved with," he said.

The book sale runs until noon today.

Hundreds of people packed into Hawera's St Joseph's Church yesterday for the last Mt View Lions Club book fair. The club is pulling the pin on the fair to focus on a new, yet to be named, project after raising more than $70,000 through the book fair over 15 years. The sale was often the first stop for those on their way to New Plymouth's 24-hour book sale.

Taranaki Daily News