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Traditionally, the book fair was a mega-event held in May over 3–4-days in two large halls at the Te Rapa racecourse, but 2020 brought new challenges along with opportunities to introduce changes to the fair. COVID-19 required that the fair was organised differently, and the book fair team developed an easier to navigate fair, better-spaced, with managed traffic flows and using just one main hall. 

Having taken over the project lead, our Club worked hard to come up with ways that would reduce handling and improve the whole experience for shoppers and volunteers. They say ‘less is more’ so we changed our book sort parameters, reasoning that even for charity, no-one would pay for poor quality, and we developed more rigorous sorting controls.

Fiction had to be sorted alphabetically. Having long used cardboard banana boxes to store and transport sorted books, could we not display books for sale in those same boxes?  So instead of emptying boxes and resorting onto tables, we laid the books out in their boxes, spine up, a move that not only saved hours of volunteer work but presented customers with a uniform and easier to follow format. With a continuous improvement programme in place, the team look for more ways to make the fair better. Moving the book fair downstairs to our sorting rooms, has enabled an expanded operation delivering the same high-quality selection of 2nd hand books for children, young adults and adults, Fiction and Non-Fiction, DVDs and Jigsaws. 

There are 3 book fairs planned for 2024 across the weekends of 20-21 April, 13-14 July and 12-13 October.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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