‘Huge and impactful event’: Times Colonist weekend book drive receives hundreds of donations


Dust off those bookshelves and consider donating some of your favourite reads to help support a good cause.

The Times Colonist book drive has kicked off its collection weekend at the Victoria Curling Club at 1952 Quadra St.

Over two days from, April 20 to 21, volunteers will help receive donations to sort and pack in time for the book sale slated for May 4 and 5.

The TC book sale is one of the most anticipated events for book lovers on Vancouver Island.

“It’s such a huge and impactful event for the community, to help not just children develop their reading abilities, but also adults who the system may have left behind,” says Mark Taylor, TC book drive lead coordinator.

The first TC book drive was held in 1998 in response to funding cuts to school libraries, and it has grown since then.

Jack Knox, former Times Colonist employee who now volunteers in the book drive, tells CHEK, “this is a town full of readers and a town full of generous people.”

“Every year they turn out to donate books that are treasures to them and treasures to us and they’re greatly appreciated,” Knox adds.

Donations to the Times Colonist Literacy Fund has grown from raising $20,000 27 years ago to over $250,000 in 2023.

“All these funds go to school libraries and literacy programs here on Vancouver Island,” says Taylor.

About 400 volunteers have pledged their time and muscles to pick up the books, ‘stop-and-go’ style, from cars through well-directed traffic before loading them into shopping carts and pushing them to the massive space inside the Victoria Curling Club, where each one will be sorted and set for the book sale.

TC book drive organizers say they are looking for good quality books – but no encyclopedias, textbooks, directories, outdated reference works, Reader’s Digest condensed books or National Geographic magazines.

“If the book cannot be sold, please do not bring it,” says Taylor.

If you’re driving, it’s best to enter off Pembroke Street between Quadra and Blanshard streets, then follow the volunteers’ directions. Please don’t come in off Caledonia; the Victoria police need to use that lane.

RELATED: Record turnout at 25th annual Times Colonist book sale

Harry Corro

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