The concept of the Founders Book Fair originated with Amy Brooke who was frustrated by the lack of used book shops in Nelson and shocked to discover so many unwanted booked ended up as landfill.
Together with friend Shona Banks, Amy organised the first book fair on 25 June 1988. Its’ objective was firstly to recycle books and secondly to raise funds for the park.
The fair, now an event over nine days with more than 12,000 visitors, has come a long way since the first book sale in 1988. Donated books steadily stream in from the community year round, and a dedicated group of volunteers come in every week to sort and price items.
The book fair is a major fundraiser for Founders Heritage Park with all profits going towards developments at the park.
Community Services Chair Gaile Noonan says, “It wouldn’t be the success that it is without the community’s support and the generosity of volunteers putting in many hours work. A big thanks to all those involved!
“The fair has been growing in popularity year on year and attracts people from all over the Top of the South and even further afield which is great news for Nelson. I hear many locals and visitors return every year to find their gem amongst the pre-loved books,” says Gaile.
Each year there are more children’s books than ever before, and new book categories have been introduced. These include popular authors, for example Enid Blyton, Dr Seuss and JK Rowling, and a vintage category for children.
“We’ve also made other changes to make it easier to browse and find what you’re looking for amongst the thousands of books,” Gaile says.
“We have a new room layout at the Energy Centre and a map will be available showing the range and location of book categories.”
This is also a bumper year for jigsaw puzzles with hundreds for sale in The Granary, this could be a perfect way to while away the hours during the colder, darker winter months.
If you love books or someone else in the family does, note your calendar now and don’t forget to bring a bag to take away your new pre-loved books.
Would you like to donate?
Donations of books, recent magazines, board games, puzzles, DVDs and vinyl records are welcome. Check with Founders for times to drop off
We do not take Readers Digest condensed books, VHS cassettes or encyclopaedias.