A shipping container full of pre-loved books, totalling up to 30,000 units, will be sorted and waiting for book worms to snap them up and love them at Dubbo's largest book fair.
Preparations are in full swing for the Michael Egan Memorial Book Fair, which will have 50 pallets of second-hand books loaded by crane onto a truck and off again at the Dubbo Showground ready for the fair's Saturday morning opening.
A line of people are expected to be at the Centenary Pavilion bright and early to rummage through soft and hardcover fiction, biography, sports, Australiana, cooking, DIY, self-help, craft, hobbies, war/military, children's and romance books - and perhaps find a rare gem or first edition collector's item.
The humongous book haul is the result of two massive collection days - one in October last year and one in January - when residents came from Dubbo, Narromine, Wellington, Gilgandra and further afield to drop-off their old books so they could be loved again instead of becoming rubbish.
The organisers are the good members of Dubbo West Rotary Club, who took-on ownership of the fair in 2022 after Dubbo Macquarie Rotary Club organised it for 12 years.
Colin Shanks, book fair coordinator, said Dubbo West Rotary was well-placed to take on the fair which, because of its size, required certain resources to run.
"It's continued to grow with the number of books donated, as well as awareness that this is the sport to drop off your good-quality books," Mr Shanks told the Daily Liberal.
The Michael Egan Memorial Book Fair was established in 2010 in memory of Michael Egan, a Dubbo Macquarie Rotary member who passed away with cancer.
The new organisers plan to keep both the name and the tradition of donating a portion of the proceeds to cancer charities. Another portion of the proceeds goes to the Royal Flying Doctor Service - Dubbo Support Group.
"We have a strong association with the Western Cancer Centre and we're certainly in talks with them to see if we can keep the cancer support close to home," Mr Shanks said.
Fiction books will take up the bulk of the sale tables this year, followed by romance, which didn't feature as heavily last year.
"This year we have two pallets of romance books. There were a couple of big donors who were romance readers, including Mills & Boon," Mr Shanks said.
He said the donors "wanted to see them given a chance at new life rather than them being tossed in the recycling".
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"The level of community support has been amazing, really. A lot of the books are good quality books," Mr Shanks said.
The books are priced between $1 and $3 and on the last day there will be a bargain clearance sale during the last half hour of the fair. During this time, there will be bulk buys on offer, or "fill a wheelbarrow and make an offer", Mr Shanks said.
The team will be setting-up the book fair on Friday, April 28 and people can still donate books at the Showground on Friday.
The Michael Egan Memorial Book Fair will take place on Saturday, April 29 from 8am until 4pm, and Sunday, April 30, from 9am to 1pm, at the Centenary Pavilion, Dubbo Showground. Entry is by gold coin donation.