© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2022

From shelves to homes: the annual day for unwanted library books to sell

Melania Watson
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Bargain lovers of all ages make their way around the collections of books.  Melania Watson

Thousands of books have sold at the annual Big Bargain Book Sale at the Pioneer Sport and Recreation Centre.

The sale is running until this evening, and is an opportunity for the public to buy books and other material that has outlived its purpose in the library.

Event organiser Jane Hackett was overwhelmed with the turnout of people.

"I was a bit worried people wouldn't come because of Covid, so it's really lovely to see that this morning we had 200 people lining up outside at 9am." 

Hackett was pleased to see so many young children interested in the display of books.

"We have a large children's book collection where all books are one dollar each so parents are coming in with their children and buying books in bulk, we're seeing people walk out pushing prams, loaded with boxes of books."

Book lover Sue Wallace came along with her friend to look for gardening books to teach their children about gardening, and wanted to add to their collection.

"It's great to see children getting away from sitting on their phones, it gives them a chance to experience how events like this had us so excited as children back in the day."

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Coordinator for the book sale Barbara Clarke was there volunteering as cashier, from the Christchurch City Libraries.

"In this economic climate, people are starting to feel the pinch a little, and this is a great chance to restock book shelves at home, it's also a really good opportunity to buy books if you have a holiday house... magazines, children's books, just things that you can leave there," Clarke says.

Clarke felt satisfied to see so many people leaving the stadium with a bargain in hand.

"Just looking at people's faces, I can see they're all happy to be getting a bargain and they pick out books, and often return them the following year for our next event."