With 31,000 volumes, this event’s in everyone’s good books

Volunteers sort through thousands of volumes preparing for The Rotary Club of Sarnia Bluewaterland’s annual book sale. From left, in front are Nancy Dease, Camilla McGill and Linda Levitt. At the back are David Lundy and Harley Levitt. Troy Shantz

Troy Shantz

A veritable library will be available for purchase when the Rotary Club of Sarnia Bluewaterland’s giant book sale returns to the Bayside Centre this weekend.

A staggering 31,000 books are sorted and ready to go at the 15th annual event, with volumes selling for $1 or $2 each.

“Friday is the best day to come, because that’s when all the books are there,” said organizer Camilla McGill, surrounded by stacks waiting to be categorized at the Bayside Mall.

“It livens up the mall. Even the mall management likes it because they’re involved too.”

Bayside has offered three storefronts to the cause, with two of them transformed into informal sorting areas for volunteers combing through mountains of novels, hardcovers and children’s books.

The books are all donated and the processing takes all year. McGill estimates the labour required would keep one person employed 40 hours a week for an entire year. Instead, the club relies on 10 volunteers to make the event a success, and they can always use more.

“We really rely on them, because every one of those 31,000 books went through someone’s hands. It gets bigger every year and Rotarians are getting older, so we’re actively looking for new recruits.”

Last year the giant book sale raised more than $19,000 the club used to support its many local causes, including literacy, school breakfast programs, playground equipment and sending low-income children to camp.

While most of the money raised stays in Sarnia-Lambton, a portion also funded 730 cataract surgeries in India, McGill said.

Any books that aren’t sold are offered to charity thrift stores or are packed into a shipping container and sent overseas for distribution in poorer communities, she added.

 

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: The Rotary Club of Sarnia Bluewaterland’s 15th annual book sale

WHERE: Bayside Centre, 150 Christina North

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 11, 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 12, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan 13, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (On Sunday, fill a bag for $5)