A queue of around 600 people waited for the doors to fling open at Tauranga Rotary Club's annual book sale, seeking a bargain among the 100,000 items up for grabs.
One of the organisers, Ross Prestidge, said: "There were a lot more there at 9am than we have ever had before".
When he arrived at 7.30am on Saturday, the queue was already around the corner from the main doors and 50 metres down the driveway. "When you open the doors, they rush in. Different people go to different areas and they are going flat out to get there first."
The carpark in the neighbouring paddock was bumper to bumper with cars by 9.30am. Mr Prestidge said Auckland book dealers near the head of the queue had been known to spend up to $2000. One man paid $6 for two books which he said were worth $400 each. Fortunately he pledged to hand a substantial amount back to Rotary once he had found buyers for the books.
Mr Prestidge said the book sale had grown to become one of the biggest in New Zealand since it began 25 years ago.
He estimated there were about 100,000 items for sale in the Totara St Seeka coolstore.
This weekend's sale was also notable for donations of jigsaws nearly doubling to reach about 500, matched by more public interest.
There were also a lot more bins of vinyl LPs for music buffs and collectors to flick through.
Today sees everything going out at half price, with boxes of fiction for $2 and $5.
Tauranga Rotary Club will welcome representatives of charitable organisations to collect leftover books, for free, from the coolstore at 9am Tuesday.