Founders Book Fair volunteers Maggi John and Catherine Barris with some of the more unusual items up for grabs this year. Photo: Kate Russell.

Book fair brings the rare gems

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Ever fancied owning a collection of 18,000 printed pens? Or perhaps a collection of Kodak magazines from the 1930s?

Well, you could get lucky and find some gems at this year’s annual Founders Book Fair, which kicks off this Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Organiser Karen Clark says, although the fair is mainly known for the humble novel or children’s book, it’s also a great place to find some more “quirky” items.

“Every year we get donated things that we’ve never seen before. This year we were given 16 boxes of printed pens which someone can make an offer on. We also have a collection of Frank Sinatra books and records which could really make someone’s day.”

A full London Charles Dickens set and an Encyclopedia Britannica – both from the turn of the century – will also be on offer and collectors could also have their eye on a set of 50 iconic Weet-Bix card albums spanning from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Yachting World annuals from the 1950s, old Australian Photo Reviews and a rare “pristine” copy of ‘The Life and Art of William Strutt’ will also be up for grabs throughout the nine-day event.

“There will be some really beautiful things that come out,” says Karen.

This year the fair will also see twice as many jigsaw puzzles than normal and children’s books will be a bit easier to find with many being categorised into authors and topics.

There is also a new room layout in the Energy Centre and a map will be available showing the range and location of book categories.

The fair has come a long way since it first began back in 1988. Donated books steadily stream in from the community year-round, and a dedicated group of volunteers come in every week to sort and price items.

The book fair is a major fundraiser for Founders Heritage Park with all profits going towards developments at the park.

The Founders Book Fair runs from 1 – 9 June, 10am – 4.30pm at Founders Heritage Park. Daily entry to the fair is $2 per adult or $5 for a nine-day pass. Children under 12 years are free.