It's the time of year when at least 50,000 books are packed into 1000 banana boxes and organised into categories, when jigsaws, CDs, DVDs and magazines get sorted, and when a native American Sioux word is again associated with one of New Zealand's greatest second-hand book sales.
That word is Zonta - meaning honest and trustworthy - and the event is Zonta's Great New Zealand Book Sale, being held in Whangarei next weekend for the 17th year.
The annual event turns the page on notions that printed books are struggling under the onslaught of electronic media. The hard working team of members from both the Whangarei and the Hatea Zonta International Club for Women know that next Saturday morning, from about 6am, there will be a throng of customers waiting outside Forum North for the doors to open at 7pm.
"It just keeps increasing in popularity. We are overwhelmed with the volume of donated books flooding in from the public," one of the organisers, Anne Richards said.
The two Zonta clubs joined forces some years ago to manage the massive load of work the growing books sale had generated.
In the past 10 years alone the Great New Zealand Book Sale has put over $210,000 back into improving the lives of local women. This year it will provide funds for Plunket, Women's Refuge, Endometriosis and the reprint of the booklet Choices for Women, Specific Learning Difficulties Whangarei, Duffy Books in Homes, Whangarei Hospital Emergency Department and a Zonta Scholarship.
Most of the books will sell from $1 to $5.
As for the bulk of the sale, including 250 banana boxes packed with paperbacks, thousands will cost peanuts but be worth their weight in gold, and some not worth the paper they are printed on. And they'll all be there for the picking between 7am to 5pm on Saturday, and 9am to 3pm on Sunday.