… is on from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 September. The money raised is used to support Lifeline’s busy 24/7 telephone counselling service. Last Autumn’s Bookfair raised more than $500,000; the upcoming Bookfair will be even bigger!
I have been a Lifeline volunteer for 8 years, sorting, pricing and packing books in the huge warehouse. But I’m not alone; over 200 volunteers process the thousands of books donated each year by the Canberra community. The books come from many sources: older folks downsizing; people moving interstate; deceased estates; libraries; recyclers; or just ‘too many books’.
There are dozens of different categories, and each has one or more sorters. I do environment and conservation, including climate change and protected areas; agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Before the books land on my desk, they go through a primary and secondary sorting process to ensure they reach their correct location. It works well thanks to our team of experienced sorters.
Most of the warehouse volunteers also work at the Bookfair where they are joined by other ‘Bookfair only’ volunteers.
Of course, in addition to the hundreds of warehouse and Bookfair volunteers, are the 300 or so counsellors who work the phones; Lifeline is a big operation.
For the past few Bookfairs, Lifeline has offered some Canberra authors the opportunity to promote and sell their books at the sale. With over 12,000 prospective buyers expected, it’s a great marketing opportunity for the writers. In return, the author donate a percentage of their proceeds to Lifeline.
So, guess what? This Bookfair, I am one of the two locals invited, and I’m very excited to have been given this opportunity. It will include doing radio interviews, thus spreading the word about our books more widely through the Canberra community.
To make me more visible – it will be crowded! – my book designer, Debra, is just putting the finishing touches on a design for a 2.4m banner which, hopefully, will attract people to my little book desk. Many people enjoy train travel as much as I do, so even if they don’t buy the book, I’m sure I have lots of interesting conversations over the 3 days.
I hope to see you there.
Rainbow and scaly-breasted lorikeets’ feeding time at Currumbin Sanctuary on the Gold Coast south of Brisbane, is the featured photo; it’s a parrot frenzy, with more than 300 screeching wild birds flying in to feed; a great experience.