Lifeline South Coast's Big Book Fair taking place this weekend

CHARITY: Melinda Johnston was among the customers at Lifeline South Coast's Big Book Fair fundraiser on Friday. Picture: Adam McLean
CHARITY: Melinda Johnston was among the customers at Lifeline South Coast's Big Book Fair fundraiser on Friday. Picture: Adam McLean

A rare edition of a classic James Bond novel is among the big ticket items at Lifeline South Coast's Big Book Fair this weekend.

About 83,000 books will be on sale at the Big Book Fair.

Among them is a first edition of Ian Fleming's 1959 Bond novel Goldfinger, which has a price tag of $550.

Volunteer Barry Ridding said this was the second time the rare book had been available at the event.

"We have a list (of rare books) that we send out to dealers and anyone else who's interested before the book fair," he said.

As the rain fell outside, book lovers flocked to the Illawarra Sports Stadium at Berkeley on NSW's South Coast on Friday morning.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Doors opened at 9am, and the event will run until Sunday.

Among the punters who arrived early was Wollongong social worker Melinda Johnston, 27.

Ms Johnston said she was a regular at the book fair, and arrived about 8am on Friday before doors opened.

"The line was only 12 people deep when I got here, but it was pouring, so I went and sat in the car for a bit as it was raining so hard," she said.

"I just wanted to get some good books.

"I come here early, otherwise they're gone - things like the hardcover ones and rare books. I'm a foster care case worker, so I work with young kids, and sometimes I just like to get nice books and resources."

Gerry Gal, 76, of Woonona also attended on Friday morning, looking for books on World War II.

"I used to be too busy at work, but when I retired I started reading a bit," he said.

"It's cheap, and I can buy a bunch of books, go home and read them."

The major fundraising event comes as Lifeline grapples with the highest number of calls to the service's 24-hour crisis support line in its 50-year history.

Picture: Adam McLean

Picture: Adam McLean

"We've got some really committed book lovers who live in our region, and what better to do on a rainy day than come shopping for books?" Lifeline South Coast CEO Renee Green said.

Ms Green said they typically aimed to raise between $130,000 and $140,000 from each book fair event.

This story A rare classic with $550 price tag up for grabs at book fair first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.