Books and Rotary Wanaka have gone hand in hand for over 24 years and with the Rotary Club iconic Book Sale starting on the 30th of September this traditional fundraiser is once again kicking off our fundraising programme for the 2016/2017 year.
After 24 years of books sales you would think we would have had enough. But fundraising events like this that involve the whole club provide a great platform for members to engage with colleagues outside of meetings and better still - talk with all the customers pouring in the door!  
Wanaka’s first Rotary Book sale was held in a small room in the main shopping precinct.  While no records can be found of the funds raised at that event, the current two book sales raised close to $20,000 last year.
Book sales don’t just happen.  There is an enormous amount of organizing and people power required at least four months prior to the sale date. Books need to be collected from generous friends and public, the collection site (supermarket trolley outside Mitre 10) needs to be emptied each day and then the book collection needs to be sorted, priced, stacked and banana boxed in readiness for transport to the sale.
We are so fortunate that the Upper Clutha Transport Depot in Ballantyne Road generously provides space for book storage and sorting. This year the sale is in the Lake Wanaka Centre and significant energy goes into laying out trestles, books being unpacked and laid out in an order the public will find easy to peruse during the weekend sale.
All Club members, partners and friends get the chance to demonstrate selling and retailing abilities on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  Accurate change giving, utilising eftpos, reversing transactions, chasing customers who leave cards behind, bagging books, finding special books requested by customers, helping kids find something they desperately want their parents to buy are all part and parcel of the weekend work!
Do you know how many thousands of sports books are bought each year, let alone donated to fundraisers?  Ask any veteran of book sales and rugby books will be one of the top collections in the sale.  How well they sell – well that’s another matter! 
Of course there are lots of books unsold at the end of the three days and with a critical eye many may be disposed of and the rest reboxed in readiness for the Summer Sale over the Christmas Period 
Helping locals and crib owners clean out homes of hard copy -  especially in this day and age of on-line libraries and reading on multiple devices – is one of the benefits . The Club is constantly surprised at the numbers of current best sellers handed in for sale.  Folk often bring back their last year’s purchases for resale and that merry go round of books contributes so much in this fund raising exercise!
Another 23 years forward – how many books will there be at the book sale?  Would it be an ebook sale?  No need to hire a space, it would all take place from a couple of tablets.  By then nothing would be free in the internet world of commerce, and the tech savvy Rotarians would be selling e-Books around the world!