Which just goes to prove that people are still reading 'real' books!
Chief Organiser, Allan Nichols, writes:
'The Book Fair was held at the Kennel Club in Porirua again this year and actually proved to be a little better financially than last year's event. This is always quite surprising if you consider that books are supposedly disappearing. The number of potential purchasers waiting for the doors to open was really amazing.
'As we had done for the last couple of years, we were able to get all the tables, trestles, etc., into the hall on Thursday afternoon and this gave us a tremendous head start for setting-up on Friday. We probably had far more books this year than in previous years and this certainly helped to keep our customers happy.
'The Kennel Club has been very good to us and has certainly helped by giving us early access to the hall and equipment. Once again, we have been able to extend the ‘value’ of the Book Fair to a number of other organisations and, once again, we gave free access to the Head Librarian for the four prisons in the District. She was very happy this year to find quite a few books that she had been looking for quite some time. She also took a lot of dictionaries as these are evidently in great demand within the prisons. In addition, we donated a number of books to the ‘little Sprouts’ organisation for the first time, organised by Julie McLagan, who also takes books to a lot of primary schools in the area. It was evident that some of the primary school children at the Book Fair didn't want to wait until they got back to school to start reading!
'The takings this year, before expenses, were $17,548 which is about $500 more than last year's takings. Expenses will probably be about the same as they were last year at $3000. I have tried to put the project into a format that will hopefully put it into meaningful terms. If you look at the hours put into the project spent collecting and sorting books and include the actual event, it comes to about 600 hours, which works out at about $29 gained per hour worked. This is a reasonable amount but does not take into account the various expenses involved. However, it might give some encouragement to support the project in the future as I realise that books seem to be getting heavier as we all get older! The support we received this year from the PD boys was outstanding as well as that from boys from HIBS school who also provided an excellent effort. We will certainly look at extending this programme next year.
'One of the things we consider each year is how to attract people to the Book Fair. This has changed over the years from the Council putting leaflets in their rates demands to letter box drops etc. We now use advertising in the Kapi Mana as one of our major promotions an, of course, the road and railway station advertising still proves very successful. It is difficult to determine how successful other advertising media actually are and although the Facebook promotions did not feature very highly in the responses from the public, I suspect that they were instrumental in many books being dropped off at the various points. We will have to consider all these aspects in the future.
'One of the positive aspects of the event is that over fifty members of the Club, as well as some of their partners and family members, were involved at some stage in the Book Fair. I do believe that this is one of the very important aspects of the event. It creates an atmosphere in which everyone works together to achieve a successful outcome and there is always the opportunity on Sunday evening to sit down to enjoy a pizza and beer or wine together.'
Editor's note: Thanks to the talents of Ray Phillips, photographer, we have a number of wonderful memories from the event in our Gallery page here.