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Having fun . . . Oamaru librarian Maclean Barker is in her element. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

Avid readers were waiting to get in the door of the Oamaru Rotary Club’s Bookarama on Monday.

There is always a queue for the opening morning of the second-hand book sale, but this year patrons had to exercise extra patience.

The Rotary Club postponed Bookarama from its usual May dates because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Then it was scheduled to take place in a pop-up shop at 205A Thames St on August 12-19. But by then the region was back in Level 2, so another postponement took effect.

Last week, Rotary announced the giant fundraising sale would go ahead this week regardless of still being in Level 2. Numbers were limited inside the shop to allow for physical distancing.

Chairwoman Ele Ludemann said after the initial rush on Monday morning, trade had been “really steady”.

The most popular items were larger paperback fiction, and fiction in general was more in demand than non fiction. However, New Zealand books always sold well, Mrs Ludemann said.

Paperbacks were preferred over hardbacks by many customers.

The theory was they were lighter to read in bed and to take out and about, she said.

Jigsaw puzzles were snapped up eagerly, too – one customer bought nearly two dozen.

Bookarama continued from 10am to 4pm each day this week and was due to finish on Sunday.

Rotary last year raised a record amount of more than $30,000 from Bookarama, which was donated to community initiatives.

It did not expect to reach that tally again, but the first day’s takings totalled about $5600.