Those who say the art of reading, and books themselves, are dying need look no further than Whangārei, where thousands attended the annual Zonta Great New Zealand Book Fair.
The fair has been running for 28 years and, despite the naysayers bemoaning the death of books, the fair is as popular as ever.
Glenys Westlake, of Zonta Whangārei, said she can remember about 10 years ago people commenting that the book fair would not be held much longer as people moved to digital books.
But that was bunkum and books are still in hot demand if Saturday and Sunday's book fair was anything to go by.
''They were so wrong. Books are still going strong.''
Tens of thousands of books, along with jigsaws, CDs and DVDs, were on offer at the sale, held in a space near Craniums book store in Reyburn Lane at the Town Basin for the first time, rather than at Forum North.
But that was not the only change. This year, Zonta has teamed up with Mangakahia Lions for the event.
Westlake said there was a constant stream of people entering the fair venue on both days and she estimates about three-quarters of the books were sold. While the total was still being counted, she estimates the event raised more than $40,000.
''We had around 100 people in at a time, and people were streaming through both days. Lots of people walked away with lots of books,'' she said.
Westlake said children's books were quite popular, as were the fiction paperbacks, which always went well.
''New Zealand books went really well too.''
The Zonta Great New Zealand Book Sale has raised about $600,000, with proceeds going to the support and education of women in the community.
And it will be back again next year.