In this aged of social media, the power of print remains unchallenged. That’s the view of Camilla McGill who predicts the 15th annual book sale at Bayside Centre will attract record crowds, record sales and a record profit for the Rotary Club of Sarnia Bluewaterland.
Some 30,000 books are being collected, sorted and prepared for the sale January 11, 12 and 13.
“People love books. They love the feel, they love the way they can flip back and forth. It has something to do with the way people touch things,” says McGill who chairs a book committee of Rotarians and volunteers who have been preparing for a year.
Last year some 1700 people bought books generating sales of nearly $19,000.00 and a net profit of just over $17,000.00.
“Owning a book and sharing a book is a group activity,” says McGill describing the sale as a destination. “There is an excitement, an anticipation and the community is already talking about it”.
“We have the cheapest books and it is the most economical way for book enthusiasts to add to their collections,” says McGill. “At $1.00 for soft covers and $2.00 for hard covers, purchasers can’t get much cheaper than that”.
Ten volunteers and half dozen Rotarians have been sorting at Bayside Centre for most of the past year. “Bayside has been wonderful to us,” says McGill noting that the mall, now owned by Seasons Retirement Communities of Oakville has provided a storefront for sorting. During the sale they will offer free underground parking on Friday and Saturday.
“We couldn’t do this without them,” says McGill.
Among the 30,000 books are 3600 new books from the Stardust Book Lounge in downtown Sarnia. In addition to new books, there are books by named authors, as well as children’s books, art books and the largest selection of cook books in Southwestern, Ontario.
McGill suggests the best day to attend is Friday, January 11 at 8:30 am. “No one will have seen the books and there are usually line ups to get in”.
The sale runs from 8:30 am to 6 pm on Friday, 9 am to 5pm on Saturday and 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday.
This year, for the first time there will be a draw for $25.00 gift certificates at the five Coffee Lodge locations in Sarnia and Petrolia. The winners receive coupons for free books to be used during the sale.
McGill expects most of the books will be sold. Those that are left over will be given to the St. Vincent De Paul and sent to a Rotary Club in Africa.
Funds from the book sale and last September’s Art in the Park at Mike Weir Park are being used to fund a new playground and memorial garden at Centennial Park.
The two projects cost $150,000.00 and the Club still owes the City about $80,000.00.
“It is a lot of work,” says McGill, “but it is worth it.”