Last weekend marked the end of the annual Founders Book Fair. It was very popular again this year, as you can see from the wonderful time-lapse video prepared by well-known Nelson photography Tim Cuff and posted on YouTube here.
As usual, I was on duty for a couple of the 9 days that it runs now. I was given a fluoro jacket and asked to guard a fire exit, to ensure people didn’t try to escape without paying for their selection. It was in the children’s section, nest to a table of Enid Blyton books. After four hours of that I was rather sick of Enid Blyton.
The second spell of duty was in the main display area, again as a “security guard”. We were not meant to browse alongside the punters. but of course we all did from time to time. I was thrilled to find a copy of Jared Diamond’s “Collapse”, for $2. I already had a copy, but for the past two years haven’t been able to find it. On at least half a dozen occasions during that time I went to look for it, only to remember that I had lent it to someone. But I had forgotten who! So I was very pleased with my purchase.
My wife had invited a friend to lunch. On my return, when I popped my head in to say hello, she greeted me with “I suppose you’ve come home with a pile of books?” “I’ve been very restrained”, I said, “only one”. I told her about my find, how that irritation would now disappear. She and her friend exchanged looks. It turns out that particular friend was the one I’d lent it to, and she had returned it that very day! So I went from zero to two copies in the space of a few hours! “That’s great” said my friend Garth, one of the book fair organisers. “You can bring in back in tomorrow and we can sell it again”. No way. I think I’ll keep it and marked it with a label “copy for lending”.
BTW – we’re told the fair raised even more than last year, almost $130,000! That money goes towards the upkeep of Founders Park.
PS I will confess I made several other trips to the fair and brought quite a few books home. Now I must find an equivalent number to return. My wife has insisted on a ‘steady state’ approach to our bookshelves (which is admittedly an improvement over the ‘one in, two out’ policy which was her initial stance).