BOOK lovers throughout the Valley know Bega Showground pavilion is the place to be this Friday.
It marks the start of the Rotary Book Fair, a three-day biannual event that is the main fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Bega.
Money raised is spent on international and local projects, including the Rotary Driver Education program.
Public relations officer Jan Southcott said members have been busy doing the last of the book sorting.
“People drop off books year round and we have to keep on top of it, but I think we now are ready for Friday,” she said.
“The book donations are what make this event happen, but at the same time we need to educate the public about the quality of books needed to make this a successful book fair.
“Please, no more big boxes of encyclopaedias!”
Setting up always proves a challenge, with Ms Southcott admitting “some of our members aren’t getting any younger!”
This year the club is hoping to get some help from the newly formed Sapphire Coast branch of Rotaract, an offshoot of Rotary with a membership aged 18-30 focused on getting youth involved in community service.
“The younger our box lifters, the better!” Ms Southcott said.
Rotary holds a winter book fair in July, but the January event always outshines its cold weather cousin.
The summer fair attracts many of the holiday makers visiting the area, keen for a great book bargain or beach read.
Last year’s statistics are impressive – 2000 visitors, 50,000 books sold and over $11,000 raised.
Ms Southcott hopes this year’s fair tops that.
“We certainly make sure we get the message out, Rotary puts signs and posters up in Tathra and Merimbula were all the tourists are staying inviting them to visit our fair,” she said.
“In the know locals are there at 9am Friday when we open, but after that it’s a steady stream of curious visitors keen to see what they can pick up in Bega.”
The Rotary Book Fair will run Friday and Saturday 9am until 5pm, and Sunday 9am until 2pm at the Bega Showground pavilion.