Brisbane Bookfest – the Biggest 2nd Hand Book Sale in the World – True Story!
If you missed out on the amazing Brisbane Lifeline Bookfest experience a few weeks ago that sucks for you! Never mind, because they come around twice a year! It was a truly wonderful event to be a part of on a number of levels.
Bookfest- Staggered at the Sheer Size
Like you, I have heard of Bookfest bouncing around in the back of my recollections for years but I as I walked in to the Brisbane Exhibition Centre on the first day I was absolutely staggered by the sheer enormity of this event. Thousands of eager booklovers were gathering outside waiting for the doors to open.
The organisers claim that it is the biggest second hand book slae in the world. Later I was told that there were 4 Kms of tables and they were full of millions of books and board games. They went on and on. As I learnt, every single item had been donated through one of Lifeline’s bins or its shops. Pretty incredible because, the general condition of te books being sold was amazing. All of the funds raised went towards funding the 131114 Lifeline Crisis Line.
A Great Service
Approximately 1800 Australians in crisis call the suicide prevention line 24 hours a day and they are answered by trained, non-judgemental counsellors. So, Lifeline provides a great service to the community with no Government funding. The Brisbane Bookfest raised $1.3 million towards this wonderful service.
The event was very well run. The hall was divided in to 3 sections being the $1 end, the $2.50 end and the ‘High Quality’ area down the middle where the prices were individually marked. In the ‘High Quality’ area was the ‘Glass Cabinet’ where the really rare and collectable books resided. Expert volunteers were in attendance at the glass cabinet to discuss with customers the reason why these books were so valuable. The most expensive book we sold from that area was $999.
It takes 600-700 volunteers to run the 13 day event and without them it would not be possible! The volunteers are there to support a great cause and quite a few of them would be booklovers themselves. It was great to be around them and the customers were also a lot of fun! If you would like something really worthily doing ring your local Lifeline to see how you may be able to volunteer!
This gig was a really wonderful experience. The guy who usually spruces there is a fellow by the name of Mark and he has been the sprier/mc for the event for about 18 years. This year he was unwell and couldn’t make. Next time you hear about the Brisbane Bookfest put in on your calendar and get along! It is a great day out! You can stock up on some great books, meet some terrific people and help a terrific cause in the process! A warning though, you may need to get a bigger bookcase!