Lifeline Canberra Book Fair makes its return to Thoroughbred Park

Karyn Starmer 10 December 2021
Person looking at books for sale at Lifeline Canberra Book Fair

Search for some bargains at the Lifeline Canberra Book Fair at Thoroughbred Park from 17-19 December. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

After multiple cancellations, the Lifeline Canberra Book Fair is back, with thousands of books to browse and buy.

To be held across three days at Thoroughbred Park in Lyneham, from Friday, 17 December, to Sunday, 19 December, the book fair presents the perfect opportunity to sort out your summer holiday reading.

Aside from the vast array of reading material encompassing all genres and many languages, Canberrans will be able to browse comics, maps, games, records and jigsaws among more than 100 pallets of items.

Lifeline Book Fairs raise a major portion of the funding needed to keep Lifeline’s local ’13 11 14′ crisis support and suicide prevention service available to the community.

Lifeline’s director of strategic engagement and communications, Jenine Woodman, said funding is more important than ever as calls to Lifeline have been increased in 2021.


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Lifeline CEO Carrie Leeson said Lifeline Canberra volunteers have worked throughout the year to collect, clean, categorise and package every book that came into the organisation’s warehouse.

The items are then transported to Thoroughbred Park, with volunteers carefully unpacking each book and placing it in its selected genre area, where it will be chosen and taken to a new home.

“The generosity of the community in donations, combined with the efforts of Lifeline’s volunteers, all culminate in the wonderful event that is the book fair,” said Ms Leeson.

“[We love] the feeling we all get when we see people smile over a sought-after book, or kids clinging to a favourite title.

“There is a lot that is humbling about a book fair, and we are so thrilled to be able to bring the Lifeline Book Fair to the Canberra community after another incredibly tough year.

Forklift moving pallet of books at Lifeline Book Warehouse

Lifeline has more than 100 pallets of items including books, CDs, DVDs, comics and maps available for purchase at the Lifeline Book Fair commencing on Friday, 17 December, 2021. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

“Every handful of books costs approximately $26, and this equates to one life-changing call.

“We thank everyone involved – from our volunteers to our customers and everyone who helps spread the word about our book fairs – for supporting this vital community service.”

There will be COVID-19 rules in place to keep the day running smoothly, and numbers will be limited inside Thoroughbred Park.

Ms Woodman said stockpiling will not be permitted, but bulk purchases may be made in a specially designated area.

“We will not be bringing books from the Collectors’ Room for this fair,” she said. “We are holding those items for our 50th Book Fair to be held in February 2022.

Lifeline Book Warehouse

Lifeline Canberra volunteers work throughout the year to collect, clean, categorise and package every book that comes into their warehouse. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

“There will also be no seating at this year’s book fair, and due to the capacity restrictions, staff will be asking people to move through so everyone gets the chance to enjoy the impressive collection.

“For this fair, we have 104 pallets containing 56 boxes each so there will be plenty of bargains to be found.”

As always, entry to the book fair is by gold coin donation, with tap-and-go card payment facilities available for people without coins. The cafe will also be open, plus, weather permitting, a gelato truck will also be onsite.

Purchases can be made with cash, credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or EFTPOS.

For more information about the Lifeline Canberra Book Fair, from 17-19 December, 2021, including opening hours, visit Lifeline Canberra.


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