19 May 2023

Book lovers rejoice as Riverina's largest book fair returns

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Start the conversation

The book fair includes other items of interest as well. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Calling all bibliomaniacs – get ready to leaf through more than 45,000 books at this weekend’s annual book fair.

The Kyeamba Smith Hall at the Wagga Wagga Showground has been transformed into bibliophile heaven for the Wagga Rotary Book Fair.

Booklovers will have a chance to pick through and purchase a plethora of fiction and non-fiction books in genres ranging from children’s literature to romance novels and everything in between.

There will also be CDs and DVDs, sheet music, texts and references, and old, rare and collectible items for sale.

READ ALSO Meet the Riverina’s international tea aficionado who drinks up to three litres a day

One of the Wagga Rotary Book Fair coordinators, Vicky Donoghue, said this year could possibly be the last time the book fair will have the CDs and DVDs.

Vicky said Rotary was expecting at least 3000 people to come through the doors of the fair.

“We’re going to have 45,000 books of which 25,000 to 30,000 will be fiction,” Vicky said.

A truck on grass

A truck with all the books ready to be unloaded. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

“There’s books for all ages, and we’ve got fabulous children’s books along with plenty of books for adolescent readers.

“Last year was a bumper year … part of that is the quality of the books that the community is donating.

“People donate exceptional books, particularly our fiction section this year.

“A lot of the books have clearly only been read once, and they’re in new condition,” she said. “The community is exceptionally generous with what they donate.”

People sort through books

Volunteers set up the tables with books. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Visitors can fill a bag for $50 with books of their choice.

“We have an eco bag and you can fill as much as you can for $50 of any goods,” she said.

“The maximum we would charge for a children’s book is $3 and for a single novel would be $5-$7.”

Vicky said Rotary had 45 volunteering members and those who were in town had been helping with the book fair setup.

READ ALSO Meet Gennelle, the organisational whiz lightening the load for hospital patients

“We have all hands on deck,” she said.

“We have a number of extremely dedicated friends of our Rotary Club who come and sort books every week at our warehouse … they are dedicated and we couldn’t do this job without them.

“And the number of businesses in town that have supported us in the putting on of this fair is enormous,” she said.

The coordinator said the book fair was a great event for the community as the locals donated the books, and the money raised from selling the books went back to the community.

The fair effectively recycles a large quantity of material and encourages reading and literacy within the community.

Rotary will allocate the funds collected from the fair to different Rotary-run projects throughout the year.

The club supports a number of local organisations and participates in domestic programs relating to homelessness and youth development, and overseas programs to enhance sight, health and education.

The Wagga Rotary Book Fair is on Saturday 20 May, from 8 am to 5 pm and Sunday 21 May from 9 am to 3 pm at Kyeamba Smith Hall, Wagga Showground. Entry to the fair is $2 for adults.

For donations to next year’s fair, contact Rotary.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.