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Beatles collection features in Big NZ Book Sale

Media Release – May 7, 2004
Rare Beatles collection features in NZ’s Biggest Book Sale

A large Beatles collection, including many rare volumes, will be hotly sought after at Dunedin’s 24the annual second hand book sale this month.

The 24-hour Regent Theatre book sale opens at noon on May 21 and around 350,000 books will be on offer in the Octagon.

Old New Zealand books, including the History of the Maori Battalion, feature this year.

``Many of the Beatles books are rare and the Maori Battalion book normally sells for up to $600 at auction,’’ organiser Doug Lovell said today.

``We have large numbers of books on New Zealand and there is a great selection of books about the James Bond movies.’’

One old children’s book, Fairies of the Flowers and Trees by Cicely Barker, is worth $1200 but will be offered for half that price. Mr Lovell said only half a dozen copies were on sale around the world and it was highly sought after by collectors. The book features priceless coloured line drawings of flowers and weeds.

First editions, old art books, and leather bound editions going back to 17th century will be hunted down by book lovers.

Organiser Doug Lovell said sports and non-fiction fans could set up their own NZ rugby and cricket libraries with so many books on offer.

About 300,000 books are expected to be sold at the sale which is as recognised as the biggest book sale in New Zealand. Last year the sale raised $85,000 for the venerable old theatre.

Nearly all the books sell for just 50 cents as they have for the last 24 years of the sale which has risen over $1 million for the theatre.

The Regent book sale is arguably considered to be the biggest sale of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It has become a Dunedin institution, Mr Lovell said.

``The people of Dunedin have taken the sale to their hearts. Books pour in to the Regent Theatre every working day of the year, all of them donated.

Organisations from other cities have sent observers to the Regent book sale, including people from Auckland, Kapiti Coast, New Plymouth and Christchurch.

Proceeds from this year’s go to improving the 75 year old theatre which is ranked one of the finest in New Zealand and holds a top NZ Historic Places Trust listed classification.

About 150 volunteers rostered on 15 cash tills will help out over the course of the sale bringing the total to 300 Dunedin people who contribute their time and talents to the sale.


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