Lifeline South Coast's annual book fair saw around 5000 people snap up a bargain

More than $120,000 raised after 70,000 books were donated for Lifeline’s Big Book Fair at the Illawarra Sports Stadium at the weekend. 

The popular community event was in its thirteenth year and raises funds for Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis support service on the South Coast.

Lifeline spokeswoman Clare Leslie said quite often they find rare gems amongst the donations.

“One noteworthy book was called Diary of a Railway Uni [by Nancy Creswell] – it was World War I. It had a beautiful dedication by one of the authors inside the book,” she said.

Book genres which Ms Leslie said “walked out the door” were military, religion and any type of children’s book (including non-fiction).

People searching through the thousands of books available at the Lifeline Big Book Fair  at the Illawarra Sports Stadium Berkeley on Saturday. Picture: Robert Peet

People searching through the thousands of books available at the Lifeline Big Book Fair at the Illawarra Sports Stadium Berkeley on Saturday. Picture: Robert Peet

At 2pm on Sunday she said they had already surpassed the $120,000 mark with more than 5,100 people through the doors.

“We’ve had a really good mix of people, families with younger kids right through to older readers,” she said.

Ms Clare also wanted to thank the team of around 100 volunteers who had given up their time to sort books in their warehouse prior and/or helped out across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday the fair was on.

Funds raised stay in the community and are used to help people talk about their problems and find ways to solve them through the services provided by Lifeline.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealed that last year we lost 2,866 Australians to suicide.

Last year, Lifeline South Coast answered 23,500 calls from people in the Illawarra and South Coast.