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3000 bookworms descend on Solway

An estimated 3000 people spent about $7000 at the Lions’ book sale. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

KAREN COLTMAN
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With elbows out and stomachs held in, thousands of keen readers squeezed past each other and rows of books at the huge Lions’ book sale at the Masterton A and P Showgrounds in Solway on the weekend.

More than 3000 bookworms searched for books, with most buying at least one and some buying hundreds.

The Lions Club of Masterton Host Waipoua’s till rang constantly on Saturday and Sunday to the benefit of about $7000. Most books were priced from $1 to $2.

Children’s books were popular as were books on local history.

“Yep, we’re rapt actually – this is up there with our top takings,” organiser Harold Devenport said.

He thought the cold and wet weather would put purchasers off, but it didn’t.

On Saturday, an estimated 2000 people went to the Trades Hall No 2 venue and spent nearly $5000.

The most expensive purchase was an old book of native bird prints that sold for $125.

Second-hand booksellers bought books too with one retailer paying $600 for six banana boxes full.

An 88-year-old bought 25 books to “keep her out of trouble”.

She liked a variety of books but had many romance novels in her bag.

The planned April book sale was canned because of the covid-19 lockdown. But it had collected so many books that the Dannevirke Lions had come down to take some away to boost its book sale.

Proceeds go to Lions’ selected charities and causes.

Marching off with his books, Graeme Wallis’ last word to some of his bookworm friends was, “see you in the spring”.

The next Lions book sale is scheduled for October.

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