Book bargains snapped up as Lions near charity goal

By Roger Moroney

While the final takings tally was still being worked out late yesterday, the Hastings Host Lions crew were smiling as they carried out the clean-up after the 25th annual two-day book sale staged at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds.

"It has gone very well, we are very happy," Ian Le Page said as he took a break from collecting up and boxing the unsold books yesterday afternoon.

He said two years ago, the Hastings Host Lions made a pledge to Ronald McDonald House in Wellington that over four years they would come up with $50,000 for them - $12,500 each year.

They were well on target to meet that commitment after the weekend's book fair, he said, as well as providing funds for other charities and community organisations.

Initial estimates showed about $30,000 had been taken on Saturday and about $10,000 on Sunday, although some overhead expenses would have to come out of that.

There were books for everyone, and that was illustrated by the spread of people who poured through the doors to pore through the tens of thousands of books - most going for just $2.

"Were people buying in bulk? Oh absolutely," Mr Le Page said.

"People were buying a dozen or so books - the average taking from each person was around $20."

One clearly ravenous reader however exceeded that by the power of ten - walking out with about $200 worth.

Mr Le Page said the book sale was the Hastings Host Lions major fundraising event of the year and took a lot of time and effort from the 65 or so members.

"Everyone was involved in it in some way throughout the year - and toward the sale day it really was all go-go-go."

The books not sold were likely to be offered for sale in bulk bin lots, and possibly through Trade Me and for whatever people would pay for them, Mr Le Page said.

Every last dollar, he added, was crucial in putting something back into the community.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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