Book Fair

The Hamilton Rotary book fair is a Waikato institution. Each year, thousands of books, DVDs, CDs, records, magazines, jigsaws and games get recycled to raise funds for the community.  Traditionally, the book fair has been a three of four day mega-event at the Te Rapa racecourse, but 2020 needs to be different.

Working together to make the world better

Books online, Mini-Fairs and Pop-Ups

Get involved

Donate items for the fair

Books online, mini-fairs and pop-ups

The new normal is likely to be different from the old.  Instead of a single annual mega-fair, which draws buyers from far and wide and puts tens of thousands of books in front of thousands of buyers, we need to think in terms of new models which are safe and sustainable.  From July 2020, we will be offering selected items online, primarily items of specialist interest, regional significance and collectible status, online via Trade Me.
Once the nation is back in Alert Level 1 or lower, we will arrange a series of themed mini-fairs, each one focused on a particular subject or category. Examples might be Childrens Books, Jigsaws, Recent Fiction, Art Books, and similar. These mini-fairs will be advertised on our Facebook page.



How to donate books etc

There are a number of drop-off points around Hamilton city, as well as in Morrinsville and Paeroa, where you can leave donations.  Some of these drop-off points are not currently operational because of COVID-19 distancing and contact tracing requirements.
Drop-off points confirmed as currently available are New World Rototuna, Caltex Chartwell and Glenview Automotive.  As new drop-off points are confirmed, we will make announcements on our Facebook page. For larger lots, please call the Bookfair cellphone on 028 417 9040, and we will do our best to collect the items from you.



How to get involved

Each year, it takes more than 1,000 person/hours to screen, sort and price donations for the book fair. Of course it is fascinating to see the enormous range  of subjects that people have written books on, but there is also a learning curve in getting know what is popular, what is rare and what we have learnt from 15 years experience in running the book fair.
We are always looking for volunteers who like working with books and who are willing to give up a couple of hours a week, every week (well, except for December and January!) to help with this massive job. Because of distancing rules, we can only have a few people working at a time, and our sorting facilities are fairly primitive at the best of times, so this role demands dedicated people.  It helps to know something about books. It also helps to be a bit ruthless, because not everything we get is suitable for sale. And it helps to have a good memory, because we have to remember what we were given last week, last month and last year. Finally, it helps to be fit, because a banana box full of books is not light, and we get to shift an awful lot of banana boxes - about 1,500 a year.
As a volunteer, you receive one perk - the ability to borrow items from the stockpile and return them prior to the sale.  You may also have suggestions for how to do things better, but we ask that you spend some time in the system before making your suggestions, as we have tried many innovations over the past 15 years and discovered that some things are not as easy or effective in practice as they sound in theory.
If you think becoming a Friend of Rotary, just to help out with the book fair, sounds like your thing, then call the Bookfair Co-ordinator on 028 417 9040.

Rotary in Rototuna

If you want to get really, really, really involved in the Rotary book fair, then consider joining Rotary in Rototuna.   Of course, the book fair is not the only thing we do. As a relatively new club we are still finding our way, but we pride ourselves on being a Rotary club like no other.  Last year, we helped run Meet the Candidates meetings for local council elections, assisted with Christmas in the Park and Balloons Over Waikato, raised $15,000 for community projects, supported the Lucy Foundation, Womens Refuge and Rototuna High School -- and had a heap of fun.  We slaughtered a few sacred Rotary cows in the process.  We meet twice a month (except during pandemics, when we meet weekly on Zoom, just because we can) and the cost of membership works out at about $12 per week, including a meal at each meeting.