Keep those books coming…

Te Awamutu Rotary Book Fair convenor Laurel Smith amid some of the hundreds of books donated for this year’s fair.

Even as the tables creak under the weight of books already in, the message from organisers of the 2020 Te Awamutu Rotary Book Fair is clear – keep them coming.

That’s because they know how fast they’re likely to go this year, particularly given that the 2020 fair will run over eight days as opposed to the three or four of previous years.

Rotary Book Fair convenor Laurel Smith said as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic the 2020 fair was moved from its early June slot. It will now be held from August 22 to August 29 at a new venue – 363 Alexandra St, the premises previously occupied by Dave Gibson’s Locksmith and Gunshop.

“This is our first year here, and although it’s a smaller location than we have used in the past, it has the advantage of being in the main street.  We made a record $14,000 last year, and we’d really like to top that this year.”

The event has become a popular fundraiser for Te Awamutu Rotary.  Proceeds go to a range of projects and causes the club supports, among them the Te Awamutu Competitions Society, Kainga Aroha’s summer camp, the Waipā Youth Awards, the National Science & Technology Forum, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Rotary’s exchange programmes and the club’s annual scholarship to a Waikato University student.  The club also gives two big boxes of books to hospital children’s wards.

The range of books already in is extensive – from gardening, cooking, life stories, fiction, crafts, children’s books, history and more.  Those in the New Zealand category are always particularly popular, said Laurel. The team is looking for more of the same, as well as CDs and DVDs and jigsaw puzzles.  The more they have in stock, the easier it will be to refill the tables as books sell.

What organisers don’t want are books in bad shape, magazines, Reader’s Digest books, records or videos.

The fair will be open from 10am to 4pm each day.  Books will be sold at $3 each or $10 for 4, and on the last day of the fair, banana boxes of books will go for $10 a box.   Books not sold will also go to a good cause; many are collected by Waikeria Prison librarian Leigh Gilson for use in the prison libraries.

Laurel said community response to earlier calls for books had been excellent and said further donations would be accepted right up to the fair itself.  Books and other items can be dropped off at 363 Alexandra St (from 9am-11am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday), and at Mega Mitre 10 Te Awamutu during their hours of opening.

Questions can be directed to Laurel Smith on 027 618 4454.

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