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More than 300,000 books at NZ’s biggest book sale

Media Release – May 18, 2005

Rare valuable editions among more than 300,000 books at NZ’s biggest book sale this week


Some of rarest provincial books will be among special editions available at New Zealand’s biggest second-hand book sale in Dunedin this week.

The Regent Theatre’s 24-hour sale opens at noon on Friday and more than 300,000 books will be on offer.

The annual sale has been running for 25 years and has raised well over a million dollars to help maintain and develop the historic theatre.

For all of its 25 years the majority of books have sold for just 50 cents each. The exceptions are the nearly new and special interest books.

Organiser Doug Lovell said a large number of valuable books about New Zealand’s provinces and cities were available this year.

``There are a large number of books relevant to Auckland, Wellington Dunedin and other provincial areas.

``There is also a collection of 60 Asterix and Tintin books all in mint condition.

``Some of the most expensive books often slip through the net when we price them.

``Last year someone picked up a mint copy of Edmund Hillary’s The Ascent of Everest for $4. He later sold the book – signed by both Sir Ed and Tensing Norgay -- for $1200,’’ Lovell said.

Thousands of people from all over the country will pour into the theatre from Friday to hunt for bargains among the great sea of books.

The Regent Theatre sale is recognised as the biggest book sale in New Zealand. The only other annual sale that comes close is Wellington.

``Every year university students walked out with books in excess of $100 which they have only paid 50c each for.

First editions, old art books, and leather bound editions going back to 18th century will again be hunted down by book lovers. Sports and non-fiction fans could set up their own NZ rugby and cricket libraries with so many books on offer.

The people of Dunedin have taken the sale, possibly the biggest in the southern Hemisphere, to their hearts.

The old theatre 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.

Ends

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