‘Practically giving them away’: Thousands expected for annual Times Colonist book sale

'Practically giving them away': Thousands expected for annual Times Colonist book sale

It starts with a table of contents.

Or in this case, tables, upon tables, upon tables of contents in the Victoria Curling Club for the annual Times Colonist book sale this weekend.

“It’s over a half million titles,” says volunteer coordinator Mark Taylor. Saturday morning, the doors open at 9 a.m. as book lovers search for literary treasure.

In 27 years, the sale has raised more than $7 million for the Times Colonist Literary Society, in support of literacy programs on Vancouver Island.

“We’re practically giving them away,” says Taylor. Hardcover titles sell for $4 with paperbacks selling for $2.

The thousands of people who plan their weekends around the sale is proof that in a digital age, there’s still no replacement for a book in the hand.

“It’s more than that,” says Times Colonist editor and publisher Dave Obee. “It’s even as simple as something like the way the light hits the printed page. It’s different. There’s a different feel to it.”

Buried in the boxes of books are autographed copies and first editions. One box dropped off contained a Spiderman comic featuring the first appearance of character Miles Morales valued at approximately $1,000, but you won’t find it on the floor. “That’s being sold separately,” says Taylor.

It’s likely someone had no idea they donated their box of statues and souvenirs from an African vacation. Travel photo albums and even a wedding album also showed up. Curious finds, but they’ve received weirder.

“In a previous year someone donated the ashes of their pet cat,” says Taylor.

The Times Colonist Book Sale runs Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5. Doors open at 9 a.m.

CHEK’s Jordan Cunningham and Times Colonist book sale volunteer coordinator Mark Taylor look at a donated photo album.

Jordan CunninghamJordan Cunningham

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