Around 80 pallets of books – each containing 56 boxes – have been sorted and shipped southside, ready for the first Lifeline Bookfair since February and thousands of eager readers.
And within hours of opening today (10 December), hundreds of Canberrans had already traversed the maze of books, games, maps, posters, records and more in a bid to pick the best of the bunch before the big crowds arrive over the weekend.
Andrea, an avid Agatha Christie and crime fan, and Anna, who uses the bookfair as retail therapy, were among the first customers to pick out their favourite books before they all disappear.
“I missed the last bookfair because I was too late but normally I go to them all. I was devastated when the others were cancelled,” Andrea said.
“I love books so I wanted to get in before everyone else.”
Others, like Jo and her two daughters Abby and Charlotte, were down from the Central Coast for the cricket and decided to spend Abby’s 11th birthday at the bookfair.
“She loves books, so we thought it would be a good option,” Jo said.
And the 11-year-old’s favourite category? Crime and conspiracy, on top of the stack of craft books she managed to find as well.
“It was lots of fun. I loved going through all the different types of books,” Abby said.
But it’s not all books at the bookfair.
For Adam, it was the first time he was able to come without his kids and focus on his growing record collection.
“I am just getting into classical music and it seemed like a really good way to pick up a good starter collection,” he said.
“I have been studying music appreciation on my own over the last few months and buying a few records to see what I like and what I don’t like. This is a great way to take a dive in rather than spending $50 on something that turns out to be no good.
“It’ll take a long time to get through these,” he laughed. “There are a lot of relaxing evenings ahead of me.”
On the other side of the aisle, Julie has been volunteering for seven years and was stoked that the bookfair was able to return just in time for Christmas.
“I have done a lot of bookfairs,” she said. “I used to come as a customer every year, to every one. Being a volunteer here gives me a look at the other side of it now and so much work goes into it behind the scenes, it just amazes me.
“I absolutely missed the book fairs this year, it has been terrible. Now that we are taking donations again we have all these books with nowhere to go so we are really pleased that we could get this going again.”
The Lifeline Bookfair at Tuggeranong’s Southern Cross Stadium is running from Thursday, 10 December through to Sunday, 13 December.
To stay COVIDsafe, you must have the Check In CBR App downloaded to check-in and enter the Southside Bookfair, which will adhere to ACT Health regulations. There will be limited numbers allowed at Tuggeranong Southern Cross Stadium, so be patient.