Stephanie Brown
The Navigator

Rotary of Nanaimo’s used book sale will be held at Nanaimo North Town Centre between October 18 and 23. The used book sale is a semi-annual fundraiser used to raise money for a variety of international and community events.

Proceeds from book sales between July 2011 and March 2013 totaled $14k, with 85 per cent of the proceeds going to needs within the community and the remaining 15 per cent towards international projects.

The community portion was further broken down into 6 per cent towards youth related projects, 55 per cent towards health, 17 per cent towards literacy, and 7 per cent towards other dedications. Health made up the majority of the projects, with amounts such as $50k going to the Nanaimo District hospital and $25k to the Nanaimo community hospice. Literacy Central Vancouver Island received $21k from the proceeds. Since the majority of the proceeds return to the community, it is fitting that the books themselves are donated by the community.

According to Susan Gerrand, a member of the Rotary Club of Nanaimo, there are approximately 70 thousand books for sale out of the approximate 100 thousand donated.  A drop-off box for book donations is located outside of Scotiabank in the centre. Gerrand recalled a man who donated 10 thousand books in a previous year.  Almost all books are accepted, with the exception of encyclopedias, National Geographic, and computer books.

The sale not only has positive outcomes for the community in regards to raising money, but it also promotes the re-use of old books, and a cheaper alternative to modern literary sources, such as Kindles and tablets.

“Some people thought with the new readers coming out on the market that the book sale would slowly wind down,” said Gerrand, “but there are so many people who prefer to hold a book.” The books range in prices from Harlequin romance, five for $2, to large paperbacks for $3, and everything in between.

On top of mainstream reading, there is a list of over 1400 special collection books for sale that include titles such as Carroll Lewis’ Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland; Barrett William’s Left Hand of God; and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

The Rotary has been holding the used book sale for just over five years. The book sale, and most things done by the Rotary, is volunteer-based, which is fitting with their slogan “Service above self.”

For more information on the book sale or the Rotary itself, visit