Thursday, September 3, 2009

Giant book fair

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.


Andrea Eames said...

The cover of The Blue was on TV One's Breakfast this morning! They had some shots of New Zealand novels as part of that story about Google vs NSZA. :) said...

Thank you for this blog - it alerted me to the fair (I'd forgotten) and so there we were (hubby and I) after a hearty breaky at Go-Bang in Petone... in the lengthening queue (think dragon's tail full of second-hand book dealers) and eventually, some of the first flush of fervid booklovers through the door - I nabbed Patrick Leigh Fermor, Lawrence Durrell, Bertrand Russell, Jan Morriss (none of them first editions, and none of them worth anything, but to me), but oh how the heart sings to find these gems.
I met Mary, and she informed me that we both had novels on the NZ fiction trestle-table which is of course, a secretly thrilling thing to be already second-hand - and lucky Mary even met a punter at the table who had read her book and loved it!

I grimaced at a table of NZ books "remaindered"... how terrifying, brand new, and un-loved, and unmentionable, as I thought publishers pulped these... hoping not to meet any of my own work ever... fingers crossed.

Hubby went for the CD's and DVD's nabbing Marianne Faithful, Ry Cooder, Joe Cocker,Jefferson Airplane, and wait for it.. Roy Orbison - we've been dancing in our little lounge tonight.

We indulged in coffee at Pravda afterwards, and you have to say - it's grand living in Wellington.

Vanda Symon said...

This looks similar to Dunedin's famous Regent 24 hour book sale - just heaven, but you need to go to the gym and do weight training ahead of time so you've got the strength to haul all those treasures.

I'm still jealous of your Owls Do Cry! said...

Can you imagine tables full of redundant kindles stirring such passion and queues, in years to come?