Buried in books . . . Oamaru Rotary Club volunteers (from left) Sven Thelning, Ele Ludemann (Bookarama chairwoman), Helen Webster and Pauline Cartwright set up for this year's Bookarama in the former Noel Leeming building in Thames St. PHOTO: ASHLEY SMYTH

Books are already rolling in for this year’s Rotary Club of Oamaru Bookarama, and the quality is high, Ele Ludemann says.

The Bookarama chairwoman said they always worried they would not get enough donations.

“But we’re collecting faster than we’re sorting at the moment, which is a good problem to have,” Mrs Ludemann said.

The must-do event on every local book-lover’s’s calendar starts on Tuesday, May 25, at 10am and runs until Sunday, May 30, at 1pm.

This year, the sale is being held in the former Noel Leeming premises, in Thames St.

“We’re thrilled with the venue. It’s big and light and [in the] centre of town,” she said.

In previous years, the sale had been held in the Loan and Mercantile building, with the exception of last year, when a smaller “pop-up” version of the sale was held in Thames St.

The benefit of the new premises was being able to sort the books in the same place they would be sold, she said, “because it’s such a lot of work shifting them.”

Mrs Ludemann said the main thing that stood out this year from other years was the standard of books people had brought in.

“We’ve been very impressed with the quality. Some years, you sort of think, they’re good, but not really good. But we’ve got a whole lot of very new books, which is lovely.”

Most books were priced at $2, but those published last year or this year would be $10.

A “bedsheet test” was applied to the books, to ensure they were of a certain standard, she said.

If those sorting would not be comfortable reading a book in bed and having it touch their sheets, then they would not sell it.

Official collection of the books began on Monday, and they can be dropped off at the sale premises between 10am and 2pm today, or 10am and noon tomorrow.

“You always have a few special books that you’re going to keep forever. But there’s those other books, and you think, going to read it again’.

“I guess if we’ve got a plea to people, we’ll collect them anytime someone rings us, but if they’re storing books, if they’re stored somewhere that isn’t really dry, they deteriorate really fast. Outdoor sheds and garages aren’t a good place to store books.”

Along with books, people can also donate puzzles, DVDs and CDs.

Mrs Ludemann said although it was a concern every year, so far e-readers did not seem to have affected people’s love of holding a book in their hands.

Money raised from this year’s Bookarama would go towards community projects around North Otago.

Old Boys Rugby Club had been offering muscle-power in the form of unloading and loading books from the storage container, for a donation towards the club, she said.