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Lifeline Bookfest returns

Norman Wallis reports on the return of the Brisbane Bookfest from June 26 to July 4.

A contact of mine is close friends with someone pretty high up in the Lifeline organisation. I proposed an impertinent plan. I would happily visit the warehouse where they stored the millions of second hand books that are donated by the public for the Lifeline Bookfest. I argued that the books weren’t moving, as COVID had put the Bookfest on ice for the nonce. I reasoned that I would be doing my bit by going into that warehouse and buying as many of those books as I possibly could. Unfortunately they did not accede to my offer, made only half in jest. But it doesn’t matter now. Because the Bookfest is back on June 26, with a massive backlog of books.

For the uninitiated, the Bookfest is a massive second hand book sale held in Brisbane twice a year over several days. The Bookfest is where you can find books you wouldn’t normally even hear about. Mo’s Memoirs by Roy Rene; Sailing directions for the East Coast of Australia, third edition, published by the Hydrographic Office of the US Navy in 1952; Money for Film Stories by Norman Lee, published 1937; Dust on My Shoes, an elegant picaresque travel memoir by Peter Pinney, first published in 1952. Plus a lot of CDS and other things.

It’s run by Lifeline, which offers services like phone counselling. The Bookfest has become a unique event, hopefully permanently on the Brisbane cultural calendar.

Due to COVID, some precautions have been taken for this Bookfest. Sales will be card only: no cash. And the Bookfest will be more spread out, so there’ll be no one dollar section this time: Only the $2.50 and high quality sections. And there are limited numbers of people allowed in at one time: eventually it’ll be one person out, one person in. Bring a large sports bag. Or one of those bags on wheels with a little ribbon on the handle.

The Bookfest is scheduled for June 26-July 4, 2021 at the Brisbane Convention Centre, Merivale St, South Brisbane.

-Hopefully Norman Wallis shall return for a preview of another Lifeline Bookfest.