Lifeline's Big Book Fair bucks trend

Lifeline's Big Book Fair has become an Illawarra institution in the seven years since its inception, and is set for another record this weekend.

After selling hundreds of thousands of donated books through its biannual events, the book fair is set to break through $1.5 million in total funds raised.

"It's an institution, and a great social event," said Lifeline South Coast executive director Grahame Gould.

He said the South Coast event, opening at Berkeley's Illawarra Sports Stadium on Friday, was the third biggest in Australia.

More than 80,000 books will be up for grabs, which Mr Gould calls "a big number, but not our biggest"and recommends bibliophiles arrive early for bargains.

"The queue starts at 7am, and there will be 300 people in the line outside before we even open," he said.

"Some people come twice a day, every day, to find the best ones. People are just addicted to books."

Highlights of this year's haul include 11 books by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, tagged at $175 each.

Despite the rise of e-readers and tablets, and the purported demise of the printed word, Mr Gould said demand was actually growing for books, and the fairs attracted more patrons each year.

"There is more attention than ever, and we get lots of students," he said.

"There is no sign of books slowing up."

The Lifeline Big Book Fair runs from Friday 9am until Sunday. Entry is by gold coin donation.

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