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by Alexia Johnston

Books, puzzles, magazines and videos are among the items piling up in preparation for Rotary Timaru North’s popular Bookarama.
People of all ages will get a chance to explore them when the event returns to the Trinity Church Hall, in College Rd, Timaru, on November 19 and 20.
The event started in 1987, thanks to club member Colin Shore who shared the concept he had seen elsewhere with fellow members.
Timaru South Rotary Club took charge of the event from 1999, but it has since been taken over again by Rotary Club of Timaru North.
Bookarama committee chairman Murray Purvis said he understood the Timaru event was one of the first of its kind in the South Island.
In its earlier days, the sale was in the Wrightson Woolstore, off State Highway 1. The organising committee would door-knock, asking residents if they had items they wanted to donate, but it was very time consuming.
Mr Shore came up with another idea – to place boxes at service stations so people had a base where they could leave items. That concept was welcomed by service station owners and remains in place today.
“They seem to be very amicable about that and they have been ever since. They are very helpful,” Mr Purvis said. “Some of the boxes get filled very quickly.”
However, people with a large number of items to donate could contact Mr Purvis to arrange collection or drop-off.
“People with a bag or two of books can use the service stations, but if they’ve got a bigger lot they can deliver to us direct at 9C Marchwiel St or phone (03) 688-4218.”
All the money raised from the sale is distributed to organisations in South Canterbury – although sometimes some went outside the district, including Ronald McDonald House and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.