Sorting through thousands of books at the Red Cross Book Fair unearthed a book worth more than $400.

In amongst the Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy paperbacks, a mid-1800s Holy Bible sat on a table, attracting much interest from bookworms.

With a hand engraved cover and coloured illustrations, the bible was donated to the book fair much to the volunteers' delight.

Red Cross book fair volunteer David Garland said the bible was fascinating.


Though the binding was in need of repair and some fragile pages had come loose, it was in pretty good nick for its age, he said.

Mr Garland said it was worth between $400 and $500 but they were hoping to get at least $100 for it on the day by silent auction.

Meanwhile there were plenty of people perusing the 700 banana boxes full of books.

"Earlier this morning there was a line right out the door and down the road of people wanting to come in," one of the organisers, Julie Forrest, said.

She said all of the money earned would stay in the Bay of Plenty for Red Cross programmes including teaching first aid to children, meals on wheels, and the curtain bank.

"We will help the vulnerable in the community with the money," Ms Forrest said.

She said it had been a real community effort and the volunteer's help moving and sorting books had been valuable.

"It's good to see we have younger volunteers coming in as well," she said.

The book fair would continue tomorrow, Sunday, at Historic Village from 9am.