Great bargains at this year’s book fest

2011-06-22 00:00

TIMES are hard for book lovers: prices go up and up and, as booksellers struggle, choice seems to go down and down. But in Pietermaritzburg there is always the Hospice Book Shop, a beacon of light in dark reading times.

The light will get even brighter from June 30 until to July 1, when Hospice holds its Book Fest. For those three days, in the Conference Centre at Hospice House in Zwartkop Road, books will be sold at even lower prices than usual. The full range of Hospice books will be available, from classics to fiction and non-fiction, collectable books, and even, for the early birds, some children’s books. These last are always in demand, and Elize White, the outgoing manager of the book shop, is always keen to have more of them.

When you visit the Hospice Book Shop, it is always busy. All the books that are sold are donated by the public, and the money raised (last year it was a whopping R405 000) goes back into the work of Hospice — paying nurses, arranging food parcels and providing palliative care in an area which runs from Hilton to Wartburg and Camperdown, and includes greater Pietermaritzburg and the Edendale Valley.

The shop is staffed by volunteers, all book lovers. So if you are searching for that special title, it’s always worth asking. And as the Hospice coffee shop will soon be reopening, pencil a regular browsing date in your diary. And in the meantime, make sure you go along to hunt out those bargains at the Book Fest.

• The Hospice Book Fest runs from 8.30 am to 3 pm on June 30 and July 1, and from 8.30 am to 1 pm on July 2. On that day there will also be a country market and tea garden, with a plant sale, children’s activities and a tail-wagging dog competition.

For more information, phone Rashida at 033 344 1560.

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