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World’s largest book festival comes to Brisbane

Bookworms, collectors and bargain hunters of all ages have flocked to the 17th year at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), losing themselves in almost 2 million books on subjects ranging from fantasy and fiction to classics and literature to crosswords and board games.

Brisbane’s Lifeline Bookfest, now in its 17th year at the Centre, is once again confirming its legendary status and attracting record crowds.

Organisers reported a record first day crowd of 60,000, armed with trolleys, suitcases and bags of all sorts and sizes, fossicked among the four kilometres of books searching for their favourite titles.

The post-Christmas giant book sale is one of two organised by Lifeline each year at BCEC to support Lifeline and UnitingCare Community Programs. This show, the longest yet, running for 10 days from January 19 to 28 again proved popular with punters and hopeful buyers. Lifeline’s second Bookfest for the year will take place at the Centre in June.

Bookfest organiser Roy Frith says he is optimistic that 2013 will be the year in which he reaches his fundraising goal of $1million to support the funding of increasing demands on Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis line.

Roy says there is always one lucky shopper who discovers a rare or first edition book at the show.This year it was a definitive work on aboriginal rock art valued around $2,500 which one lucky collector purchased for $1000.

All books for sale have been donated during the year through Lifeline shops and charity bins. 600 volunteers help out at the 10 day show which ends on the official Australia Day holiday, Monday 29th January. This final day is ‘sale’ day with categories of books marked down.