It's been said for a while that the art of reading books is dying, but as the tens of thousands of books donated to the Zonta Great New Zealand Book Sale in Whangārei show, that's certainly not the case.

Northland book lovers will be in for a treat at the weekend with tens of thousands of books on offer at the Zonta Great New Zealand Book Sale in Whangārei.

The Zonta Clubs of Hatea and Whangārei have had thousands of books, CDs, DVDs and jigsaw puzzles donated for the sale, that will be held at Forum North on Saturday and Sunday.

Members and supporters of the Zonta clubs have been sorting the books and others items into their correct categories at an industrial unit in the city and have hundreds of boxes full for the public to go through at the weekend.

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Irene McPherson, from Zonta Whangārei, said there were are least 500- boxes of books to be rifled through at the weekend and she was sure there would be something for everybody's tastes.

''There are literally tens of thousands of books here. I think our oldest (book) goes back to the late 1800s and we have a great series of five The Times History books from 1901 that are just fascinating,'' McPherson said.

''Originally they were lent out from Whangārei Library, with the last time they were taken out on October 1, 1921 - it boggles the mind to think where they might have been since then.''

She said there are many categories of books on offer this weekend, including history, biographies, gardening, war, westerns, wellbeing, art, poetry, music.

This is the 26th year of the Zonta Great New Zealand Book Sale and in that time it has raised more than $500,000 for the support and education of women in the community.

As well as giving to local causes, the Whangārei and the Hatea clubs put proceeds into the national Zonta organisation's annual cause.

The doors open on the Great New Zealand Book Sale at Forum North at 7am on Saturday, until 5pm, and again on Sunday, from 8am-2pm.