Preparing for and working at Rotary’s Bookarama has occupied me for the best part of the past week.
People-watchers would find the buyers interesting. Dealers line up at the door before opening morning and run to the tables, others take a more leisurely approach. Some come once, some make return visits. Some are looking for particular titles or authors, others are less prescriptive. Some seek advice or want to chat, others are happy to browse and buy by themselves.
Quite a few buy bag loads of books, many of which they will donate back next year for re-sale, some buy in singles or small numbers.
A few unusual books are individually priced, few for more than $10 and those published recently are also priced – $2 for those from 2011 and 12; $4 for 2013 and 14 and $6 for the last two years. Children’s books are sold at two for $1, Mills and Boons go for $10 a box and all other books are just $1 each.
When it comes to paying, some forgo generous amounts of change while others accept small amounts back. That should not be seen to be judging anyone. Someone’s $9 change from a $20 note for 10 books might not be as important as another’s $1 from a $20 note for 19 books.
In the last few years we’ve found no interest in encyclopedias, atlases or dictionaries and hard back fiction isn’t as popular as paperbacks.
Today we’ll be cleaning up. Left over children’s books will go to the food bank, any good quality books left will be packed up for next year, some of the old books might be offered to dealers and the rest will go to the resource recovery centre for sale or recycling.
This is the club’s biggest annual fundraiser and all proceeds go to the community.
It depends on the generosity of people who donate books, those who buy them and others, not all of whom are Rotary members, who sort and sell them. It’s hard work but also both enjoyable and rewarding.