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Nick Hart at the Lifeline sorting facility, Brisbane. Photo: Holly Jewell
Nick Hart at the Lifeline sorting facility, Brisbane. Photo: Holly Jewell

Expect the unexpected at Lifeline Bookfest

Lifeline Bookfests attract crowds eager for a bargain on their books but there’s a wide array of the weird and wonderful to browse. Journey reports.

While the Australian book industry continues to acclimatise to consumer trends favouring digital publishing, lovers of the printed page know Lifeline Bookfests are the must-attend event to celebrate their passion.

With a massive volume of books available spanning nearly every genre, the Brisbane and Gold Coast iterations (Brisbane, 25 June–3 July; Gold Coast, 24–26 June) are the state’s most prominent second-hand book events but there’s so much more to discover than recently discarded best-sellers and old recipe books.

The Brisbane event has increasingly become a terrific place to shop when it comes to vinyl records, CDs and DVDs.

“In terms of music you’ll find a vast array of old vinyl records, we’ll have approximately 5000 plus records at this coming event in Brisbane,” says Nick Hart, books supervisor for Lifeline Brisbane.

“We’re looking at a collection of upwards of 20 000 individual CDs available. All our CDs are just $2.50 each, so you could walk into the Bookfest and there could be CDs that originally sold for $24.95 or anywhere up to $39.95.

“Around 20 000 plus DVDs will also be available for sale. They will range from children’s programs through to movies to sports, you name it, it’ll be there.”

While the Gold Coast event sticks to books, expect the unexpected while you’re browsing.

Hope Murphy, book sorter with the Lifeline team on the Gold Coast, has come across her fair share of surprising donations for this year’s event, “I’ll mention this tiny little book that’s probably the size of your palm. It’s valued at $90 and it’s about Rob Roy.”

“We’ve got a Star Wars comic that was signed by the guy who played Darth Vader in the first three movies in absolutely perfect condition.”

While it’s easy to get caught up in talk of the bargains and the dizzying selection of titles on offer, the Bookfests’ raison d’être should not be overlooked: all proceeds from sales provide vital funding to Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis support line (13 11 14) and other community support services.In January 2016 alone, the Brisbane summer Bookfest raised over $1.34 million, and with other events scheduled throughout the year for Bundaberg, Ipswich, Mackay, Rockhampton and the Sunshine Coast, the initiative has proven a winning formula for fundraising efforts.

So when you’re perusing the tables later this month, titles and names may be the only thing on your mind but you can be satisfied every dollar you spend is helping save lives across the nation.

For further information on the Lifeline Bookfests visit uccommunity.org.au/bookfest


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