Book lovers will get their first chance to dig through pile after pile of interesting novels, reference books, anthologies and other written words as the Calgary Herald’s ninth annual Calgary Book Drive and Sale starts Friday.

“We’re starting to set up for the sale. It’s going pretty well, we’ve got a lot of volunteers,” said book drive and sale co-ordinator Andria Brumwell.

“I don’t know yet (how many books were collected in total), but it’s more than last year.”

Recent interesting finds include a book potentially signed by Sir Winston Churchill.

“The book itself is called Volume 2: Their Finest Hour from a series of volumes on the Second World War,” said special books manager Gerry Morgan.

“The signature is definitely handwritten, it’s not printed, and I’m going to check it with a signature I’ve found online this evening.”

Only days away, the sale is set to take place in the big tent at the Crossroads Market on June 10 to 12 and June 17 to 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Contributions from the sale will go to Calgary’s Servants Anonymous Society, which provides support and services for victims of sexual exploitation, and Postmedia’s Raise-a-Reader program, which aids groups promoting family literacy.

With a colossal array of titles across all genres of books, Brumwell anticipates it will be busy.

“I think people will start lining up around 7 or 8 a.m., depending what the weather does,” said Brumwell.

She adds, however, that bargain hunters don’t have to endure the elements hours before the sale opens to come across good finds -with 10 trailers of sorted books refreshed each night over the course of the six sale days, both dedicated and casual book lovers should be able to find a stack of summer reading.

“I know a lot of people think that if they don’t come on the first day, everything will be picked over, but that’s not true,” she said. “We’ve got so many in reserve that we put new stuff out all the time.

“They can find anything they’re looking for,” added Brumwell.

According to sixth-year volunteer Frieda Aldcroft, it’s the books and the people that keep her coming back to help, year after year.

“Everybody that works here loves books and loves to read. You can tell by the number of books we all buy during the start!” said Aldcroft.

“It’s a very nice camaraderie, especially since we don’t see each other except at the book sale -you look forward to it.

“It’s just a nice atmosphere to work in and it’s for charity. It makes you feel good inside.”

Fourth-year volunteer Pierrette Lavallee-Hoch agrees.

“From May until June, it’s what we do three days a week,” she said.

“There’s every genre of book, for every age of people, and we do resort between the two weekends so there are always new books.”

Calgary Book Drive & Sale supported by the Calgary Herald

First weekend sale dates: Today, Saturday and Sunday

Second weekend sales dates: June 17, June 18 and June 19

    • Times: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Admission: $2, children 12 & under are free

Location: Crossroads Market (at the junction of Blackfoot Trail and Ogden Road S.E.)

All proceeds go to Servants Anonymous and the Calgary Herald’s Raise-a-Reader program

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