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Bring us your books: Annual TC book drive continues Sunday

The book drive continues Sunday, April 21, with books accepted from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Thousands of books have already been donated to the annual Times Colonist book drive — and there’s still one more day to go.

Volunteer co-ordinator Mark Taylor said that more than 50 pallet loads had come in by by 1 p.m. Saturday. By the time the drop-off wraps up this afternoon, Taylor is expecting hundreds of thousands of books to line the makeshift aisles at the Victoria Curling Club.

“The response has been fabulous,” he said.

The book drive continues Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1952 Quadra St.

There is an improved traffic flow pattern this year for people dropping their books off by car, Taylor said. “We’ve taken about another 20 people off Quadra and that’s really helped.”

Efforts to encourage people to shift their donations to Sunday have also been helpful in avoiding the Saturday crush, he said.

A few dozen cheery volunteers in bright yellow and orange vests were busy transferring books out of a steady stream of vehicles on Saturday afternoon.

Susan Martin said she didn’t mind the sweat. “It’s just a really good work out, and we also get early action at the books.”

Martin said she will be on the hunt for urbanism-related tomes this year. “Jane Jacobs, Rebecca Solnit … any urban planning books, I’m always eyes open for.”

People come in from as far as Alberta to volunteer specifically for the book drive, she said.

Volunteer Aaron Mauger said he delayed starting his new job as an on-call teacher at the Sooke School District so that he could volunteer this year.

He recently swapped out his TV for more bookcases, bringing the total of bookshelves in the house to 13, he said. He estimates he has “2,600 books — and they’re all catalogued and organized.”

Mauger, who has been coming to the Times Colonist book sale for more than 25 years, said the entire family is big into reading.

His oldest son, who turned 12 on Saturday, volunteered at the drop-off before heading out for his birthday party.

“We had one year where my wife was pregnant with our second child,” he said. “And I had our first child on my back on a frame pack.”

Another volunteer, Emma Kennelly, said she believes in the mission of the book drive. “It’s money going toward a good cause.”

“Stuff like this, being around so many books — its kind of satisfying,” said Kennelly, a Royal Bay Secondary student who one day hopes to get a master’s degree in library science.

The Victoria Curling Club will remain busy over the next two weeks as volunteers sort through the donations in anticipation of the book sale on May 4 and 5.

Money raised by the sale, which is run by the non-profit Times Colonist Literacy Society, goes to school libraries and literacy organizations.

The first Times Colonist book sale was held in 1998. It has brought in more than $7 million to date for school libraries and literacy organizations across Vancouver Island.

You can still drop off quality books Sunday

Here’s what you need to know:

• We’re collecting books at the Victoria Curling Club (1952 Quadra St.) from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

• We are looking for good-­quality used books of almost every genre. Not accepted: encyclopedias, textbooks, magazines, directories, outdated reference works, Reader’s Digest condensed books or National Geographic magazines. We also don’t want books that are wet, mouldy, smelly or otherwise damaged.

• To speed up the unloading process, pack books in boxes and bags you don’t want back.

• If coming by car, enter off Pembroke Street between Quadra and Blanshard, then ­follow the volunteers’ ­directions. (Please don’t come in off ­Caledonia; the Victoria police need to use that lane.) Stay in your vehicle — the volunteers will unload your books.

• If you’re arriving on foot or by bike, there will be a spot beside the Quadra Street sidewalk to drop off books, safe from moving cars.

For more information or to donate directly, go to

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