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Bookaholics . . . Mary Maple (left) and Jacquie Webby have spent countless hours sorting donated books into boxes that will be carted to the Loan and Merc for next weekend's Bookarama. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

Avid readers and book-collectors only have one week to wait for Bookarama.

The eagerly-anticipated Oamaru Rotary Club annual event is being held in the Loan and Merc in Harbour St from June 7 to 9.

For the past six weeks, helpers including non-Rotarians Jacquie Webby, Mary Maple and Sally Austin have been sorting through thousands of donated books stockpiled in the Pipe Band Hall.

They have put them into about 40 categories, arranged in alphabetical order around the hall. Each box is labelled and stacked when it is filled, awaiting transport to the Loan and Merc on Tuesday – once the building has finished holding steampunk festival activities.

Miss Webby said the response to the call for donations of books was “amazing”. The “hobbies” category has been subdivided this year into outdoors pursuits, DIY and handcrafts, and there are plenty of books in ever-popular sections like westerns, children’s, science fiction, cars, cooking, and gardening.

Military and hunting books are strong this year, along with “a really good collection of old English comics”, Miss Webby said.

“There is also the usual great supply of puzzles, DVDs and vinyl – classical and collectable.”

An impressive number of rare books have been researched by Miss Webby, who has priced them well below their commercial value.

Most of these books were New Zealand volumes, probably made available by people downsizing or moving off their family estates, she said.

She advised serious collectors to be at the Loan and Merc early next Friday to snaffle these “amazing treasures”.

On the Sunday, books would be reduced to half-price to ensure as few as possible were left behind.

Books could still be dropped off at the Pipe Band Hall tomorrow from 10am to noon, or left at the New World supermarket or at The Business Hive in Ribble St.