Dannevirke bookworms are nibbling away sorting more than 20,000 books for the annual Lions Club sale in the Town Hall.

Last Sunday club members were busy unloading boxes containing 10,000 books, the surplus from the Red Cross book sale in Palmerston North.

"They're weighty," Dannevirke Lions Club book sale organiser Barbara Ferguson said.

With so many books, puzzles and magazines stored in the bowels of the Town Hall, Mrs Ferguson and her helpers are now buckling down, working Monday and Tuesday to have everything sorted before the sale at the end of July.

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And with very little head room and massive beams encroaching into their work space, it really is a case of buckling down, or bending over, she said.

However, the one thing Mrs Ferguson doesn't have time for at the moment is reading.

And despite the thousands of volumes already donated, she is happy to see more arrive at the Information Centre.

"We're very lucky all our books are donated. This year we've some beautiful books and each year they arrive in better condition than the year before.

"Donna at the Information Centre is a tower of strength."

Although there were 10,000 books to load and unload from Palmerston North, helped by the Dannevirke High School's football players, a well organised team and a nifty conveyer belt system, there was just a little sweat being wiped off brows at the end of the operation.

"Those boys do such a good job, those of us in the Lions Club who have a few creaky bones certainly appreciate their work," Mrs Ferguson said.

A new feature of this year's sale will be the small section of 1950s novels, including some by Alastiar MacLean and Nicholas Monsarrat.

"These were the novels of the day and there were no reprints."

The special afternoon for children and their caregivers will be held again this year. "It's a lovely time for the kids who come along. We give them a free book and generally let them pick a bag of books and charge just $1 or $2."

Dannevirke Lions Club book sale:

* The children's only book sale Thursday, July 28, from noon.

* General sale opens Friday, July 29, 9am to 5pm.

* Saturday, July 30, 9am to 5pm.

* Sunday, July 31, 10am to 3pm.