Massive excitement in my household because the annual giant bookfair at the TSB Arena is on this weekend. The Downtown Community Ministry runs it and the books are $2 each [$1 on Sunday] with special books priced as marked.
Every year we go: me and Paul and Issy and Penny and Elsie and Quentin - we stand there in the massive indoor arena, amongst the tables and tables of books, and hundreds of people, marvelling each time at the absence of noise. This is the spooky thing, all you can hear is a kind of happy whispery-hum as hundreds of readers thumb and shuffle books, and slide them into their bags.
We lumber out with our haul - Paul and Issy and Penny and Elsie and Quentin and me - and share it in the foyer afterwards or over breakfast across the way. We always find one treasure: a perfect copy of a loved book or a falling-apart copy of a loved book. Sometimes we swap, mostly we don't. One year, I nabbed a first edition [UK] of a Janet Frame novel for $2. And every year we go home and clear a space on the bookshelves for our finds - piling up the rejected books in a box in the garage.
This year I have been organised and sent six boxes of children's and adult books off yesterday as donations to the fair. This is the first year I have done this and I think we've been going for five years now. My son Adam took the boxes into town in the back of the car, thank God, because I couldn't lift them.
I told him where to go: Compassion House at the end of Luke's Lane [love that address]. So now I theoretically have room on the shelves all ready for this year's book fair finds. Trouble is, I can't see the space for looking. Somehow magically, it has already been filled.