Annual Red Cross book sale fills arena to help refugees

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The Red Cross book sale has attracted book lovers from across the region looking for a bargain.

WARWICK SMITH / Stuff

The Red Cross book sale has attracted book lovers from across the region looking for a bargain.

Voracious readers take advantage of four days to have their noses if not in a book, then sniff out a bargain.

The annual Red Cross book sale was large enough to consume three halls of the CET Arena in Palmerston North over the Queen’s birthday weekend.

The sale opened on Friday, with tables filled with works of fiction, history, agriculture, computers, children’s books and sheet music. There is also a selection of DVDs, CDs and discs.

One of the organizers, Jill Spicer, said Sunday there were concerns ahead of the event that the facility near the freeway might be too noisy.

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“I thought if you could hear them across town, I have no idea how it would have been with them right there. But that didn’t happen and it was really peaceful.

Much of the money raised would stay in the area, including for a project to buy warm quilts for refugees who come to Manawatū.

“They are often already very stressed, so we try to alleviate some of that stress by keeping them warm in the winter.”

Red Cross Book Sale organizer Jill Spicer says many volunteers have lent a hand to help organize the annual event.

Conor Knell / Stuff

Red Cross Book Sale organizer Jill Spicer says many volunteers have lent a hand to help organize the annual event.

The wide range of books on offer was reflected in the diverse crowd drawn to the sale.

James Smith was there with his two young sons, Elijah and Soren. Coming out of the children’s section, he had a stack of books in his arms.

“I’m just going to get some children’s books today. All serious book purchases were made a few days ago.

“I’ve been coming for about 10 years now. I usually spend about one or two [books] a week, but I always have three or four on the way. And it definitely runs in the family with these guys. They love them.

The book fair runs until June 5 and for the last two days it’s half price, which means the majority of books are $1.

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