Over the weekend I visited the Regent 24-hour Book Sale three times. Held annually to raise funds for the Regent Theatre, it’s my favourite event on Dunedin’s calendar. Why? Well, who doesn’t love the opportunity to wander along table after table full of books, most priced at $1.
This year I hit up the sale just after noon on Friday when it started, then again after dinner at about 9pm, and finally on Saturday morning after 10am. Each time the place was packed (maybe slightly less so on Saturday morning, when it was still pretty busy), and it was great to see so much interest.
Tireless volunteers unpack box after box of books across the 24-hour period, so you never know what you might stumble across – hence the three trips!
The sci-fi table – which I make a beeline for every year – had a new location and was bigger than in previous years. I managed to pick up a bunch of Robert A Heinlein, JG Ballard, and Ray Bradbury paperbacks, and also snagged a Terry Pratchett book I haven’t read before (Only You Can Save Mankind). I picked up a Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, too, because I couldn’t miss out on reading about Troi and Worf investigating serious shenanigans in the science labs.
A level down from the main stage are the tables of individually priced books (as seen in the photo here). Most are only a few dollars and most are in new condition.
I got a few Stephen King paperbacks and – possibly the find I’m most pleased about – all three volumes in The Strain Trilogy from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. I went through a period last year of reading heaps of titles in the same vein (see The Passage series by Justin Cronin) but missed this lot.
There’s now a shelf in my room just filled with books from the sale, and I’ll make my way through them bit by bit over the next year. Then, a month or so before the sale, I’ll donate them back so they’ll have the chance to go to someone else.
So, if you’re in Dunedin at the start of June next year, plan for a trip to this 24-hour book fest. You won’t regret it.