Philippa is a long-time volunteer of 20 years and a big book lover. “I started volunteering because I love books and I thought that Red Cross was such a worthwhile organisation to support – not only because of the work they do overseas, but because they are here working flat out in floods and earthquakes and making refugee families welcome.”

One memorable year after heavy rain, just three days before the start of the book fair, Philippa and the team of volunteers went into the building to continue sorting through the boxes of donations. They found the entire ‘religion’ section had been drenched with water from the downpour. Not to be deterred, they brought in dehumidifiers to dry out the carpets and salvaged what books they could.

Philippa enjoys talking to the hundreds of customers who flock to the book sale each year. She recalls a man who “bought a whole collection of Charles Dickens books as they were dark green, and he said they would match his curtains.”

Customers at the sale are generous – not only buying up the books, records and DVDs on sale, but also doing that little bit extra to help out.

“People say ‘keep the change’ when they’re at the checkout – which is so nice because they realise the good work that Red Cross does.”

The details

The book fair is on Friday 8 September to Sunday 10 September at Te Rapa Race Course, Hamilton. 

More info on what you can buy and expect