Bookarama bargains bring in record sum





Norriss Wilson was sitting at the door of the CHB Lions Bookarama on Friday handing out reusable bags to shoppers as they entered. Those who had been to Bookarama before wisely accepted the bag. The uninitiated waved the bag away with a “just browsing”. Above his mask Norriss’s eyes twinkled. He knew they’d be back for a bag. You can’t escape Bookarama without an armful of books. Norriss has been a Lions Club member for 44 years. This was just his third Bookarama gig. “It’s been chocker all morning. They’ve been flat out at the checkout counter,” he said, pointing out a team of yellow-vested Lions Club volunteers busily counting, bagging and ringing up sales. When the Takapau Lions Club crew arrived first thing on Friday to open the doors to the three-day sale — which fills the bottom floor of the CHB Municipal Theatre every year — there was a queue of about 50 eager buyers, waiting in drizzly rain. By lunchtime the crowd was thinning, but not by much. Carol Seymour, one of the seasoned organisers of the annual event, said there had been four or five commercial buyers in quite early, buying for second-hand bookshops, then a steady stream of book-lovers including a class of Waipawa Primary School junior students. “The Waipawa School children were delightful, very well behaved, holding their spending money in plastic bags. They chose their books and paid for them and then sat and compared purchases as they waited for the whole class to finish. “That was lovely — encouraging that love of books so young. It will go through life with them,” she said. Some of the more grown-up bookworms had travelled from further afield, one Hastings shopper saying she was stocking the family bach. “I love to have books scattered about for summer reading or a rainy day . . . and we often have visitors so if they get engrossed in a good book it’s nice to be able to say ‘Take it with you and pass it along when you’ve finished it’. A fellow browser chimed in to agree. She said books are “like comfort food“. “There’s something about the weight and texture of an actual book — not an e-book — that is solid and comforting. It’s a slow and relaxing way to read. “But with the prices of everything going up, books have become a luxury item. That’s what’s so great about Bookarama, I bought a bag full of second-hand books, some like new, for the cost of maybe one new book.” After closing down and counting up on Sunday, the tally revealed this year’s Bookarama had made a record $23,000 before expenses. Lions Club member Graeme Black says “over the past year the club has given significant donations to the HB Rescue Helicopter, CHB Libraries, Takapau Health Centre, Connect for Youth Driver Safety at the College, Ruahine Cadets, Camp Quality, Paul Hunter Centre and other local charities, and money raised this year will enable the club to continue supporting the community in this way. “We couldn’t manage without help and support and would particularly like to thank all those who donated and bought books, Tim Chote Appliances and Winloves100% for acting as drop off points throughout the year, Hastings Host Lions for the loan of tables, Maurie and Sue Smith for the use of their van for the weekend, Chotes for the use of their trailer to transport the books from Takapau to the Theatre, the Ruahine Cadets for helping to lift the heavy boxes, Central FM, and the CHB Mail.”