It’s not what you’d expect from the volunteer coordinator for Red Cross’ Palmerston North Book Sale, one of the biggest second hand book events in the country.

Red Cross’ book sale is an annual highlight on the Palmerston North calendar, attracting booklovers from right across the region. Every year, thousands of donated books, jigsaw puzzles, games and DVDs are sold at the sale to support Red Cross’ work in Manawatu.

For Aziz, an accounting student at Massey University, it’s not the books, but the desire to give back that drives him to volunteer with Red Cross.

“It’s good to help your community out. You’ve got to do something in your weekend – why not help?” he says.

The sale runs across three days, but Aziz’s work begins long before the crowds of customers pour in, looking for bargains.

With more than 200 volunteers involved in the event, Aziz’s job as volunteer coordinator is a demanding one. Between them, the volunteers have to transport, sort and display more than 1500 boxes of donated books. And that’s before the sale even begins.

Once the doors open, Aziz works to make sure there are enough volunteers operating cash registers, handing out bags and directing lost shoppers, as well as ensuring every volunteer remembers to take a breather every now and then.

Across the weekend, he’ll put in almost a full working week, before heading back to his regular studies on Monday.

But despite the long hours, Aziz is happy to help out and support Red Cross’ work.

“It’s a good event and I want to help my community. That’s why I volunteer with Red Cross.”

Book sale details


Barber Hall, Waldegrave Street, Palmerston North.


The book sale runs over Queen's Birthday Weekend:

Friday 31 May, 10am to 8pm

Saturday 1 June, 10am to 6pm

Sunday 2 June, 10am to 4pm

Monday 3 June, 10am to 2pm

Join our Facebook event.

What's on offer:

Books, puzzles, games, sheet music, CDs, records, DVDs, maps, posters, knitting patterns.

To help you out on the day

Floor plan of Barber Hall: