Biggest Bookarama ever comes to an end

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The Bookarama sale at Somerville Intermediate. The huge mountain of books collected over two years on display on tables and below tables on the first day of sale.

With two years of collections, this year’s Bookarama saw the largest volume of books, puzzles, CDs, DVDs and LPs ever on display at Somerville Intermediate for sale which took place between Wednesday and Sunday last week.

This is the 22nd year that Howick Rotary has organised the annual Bookarama event and it required a herculean effort by club members assisted by Coastguard and volunteers from the public to stage it.

It started with an Early Bird $20 entry on Wednesday afternoon. This part of the sale attracts dealers from around the country with some coming from as far afield as Christchurch and Carterton.

This year, in addition to the dealers, a large number of the public came to the early bird session so they could get first pickings, Rotary Convenor Geoff Thompson said.

“The change of time and the better promotion of the early bird afternoon really worked for us this year,” said Thompson.

“Although we have been going for 22 years, we are constantly learning how to do things better

“For example, one of our team, John Savory, researches the value of some the rarer books on the internet and we then are able to sell these at a third to a half of their market price which creates a win-win for both the seller and the buyer.

“We also had some antique and classic books that one of our member’s wives Meryl Monk brought along and she had a great result selling these”.

One of the books collected is going on a very special journey. It is the journal of the Australian Antarctic expedition leader Sir Douglas Mawson around the heroic age of exploration of the icy continent. It will go to the Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum in Hobart Australia. “A fitting end location for such a historic book from Howick’s Bookarama,” said Thompson.

During the sale there was a steady stream of people visiting the gym to get their next year’s reading material and it ended with a Super Sunday Sale when all the items on sale were half price. This brought out large numbers of bargain hunters who took a big chunk of the mountain with them. Charities also benefited by being given free choice of the books on display. A couple of east Auckland Rotary clubs are setting up a free library for people in Panmure and Glen Innes. Totara Hospice and Salvation Army were also able to restock their shops.

At the close of the event President Madeleine East said “The huge effort the club puts into this project is well worth it. Bookarama turns the community’s generosity into funds that can then be ploughed back into a vast variety of projects that help needy families, improve the environment, support heritage, help young people and assist local fun events.”

To learn more about Rotary go to or be a guest at one their meetings – call Glenice 021 2010262 or Rob 021 413341.