Good reading, cheap

Book Browsing . . . Isobel Stephenson-Preston (3) of Wyndham looks through her newly acquired book Little Gnome written by Elizabeth Falconer at the Pakeke Lions book sale last week. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

The Pakeke Lions Club book sale has raised about $20,000 despite the challenges of Covid-19, treasurer Henry McFadzien said.

“We were flying an unknown flag this year. With the Covid winds going, we didn’t know which way the flag would blow.”

Book convener Douglas Dixey said the event went well and everyone who attended the sale complied with the Alert Level 2 restrictions.

“They have respected wearing their masks and signing in. I’m very proud of Southlanders who do their thing at any rate because others in the country can’t.”

Though there were restrictions in the amount of people who could be in the Hokonui pavilion at one time, it was not a disadvantage to them, Mr Dixey said.

“We opened a little earlier and people were happy as Larry to come in and get their books and go.

“Of course, we would have loved it to be in Level 1, but that was just how the cookie crumbled.”

Some of the proceeds raised would go to the Southland Charity Hospital.

Negotiations were under way about other projects and community initiatives the funds could go towards.

This year, a wide variety of good quality books had been sold, he said.

“Paperbacks went steadily and cookery and garden books were sold as quickly as last year.”

He noticed over the years the book sale was growing a culture of dedicated supporters.

“I think people know it will be high quality books and some people come in to stock up for Christmas and all sorts of things.”

They were grateful to the volunteers who helped with the setting up and execution of the event.

They also thanked the wider community for their support.

More than 600 people attended the 36th annual sale which ran from Thursday night until Saturday lunchtime last week.

Among those to attend was 3-year-old Isobel Stephenson-Preston. It was Isobel’s first time attending the event and she enjoyed herself.

Mother Tabitha Yap said she hoped to share her love for preloved books with her daughter.

“We love books so we thought we would come in.

“Isobel has $5 in her little bag to pay for her own books.”

Books were a big part of her childhood, Mrs Yap said.

“I’m from Malaysia but I remember my mum always getting me books when I was little and one of my grandmothers would bring dinosaur books and film books all the way from England.”

She appreciated some of the bargains she found at the book sale.

“There’s some really good stuff. I saw a biology book which is usually priced at $20 but it was down to $2.”