Giant charity book fair in North Shields aims to break records

The Linskill Centre in North Shields will be hosting its annual book fair on Friday May 30 and is appealing for book donations to break last year's record

Members of the public browse through the thousands of books on show at the Linskill Centre in North Shields
Members of the public browse through the thousands of books on show at the Linskill Centre in North Shields

A charity sale is appealing for a late rush of book donations to break its record last year when it offered 30,000 volumes to buyers.

The Linskill Centre in North Shields will be hosting its annual book fair on Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31.

Not only is it the biggest charity book fair in the North East, but also the major fundraising event of the year for the centre, bringing in around £4,000 from sales of books which are all priced at £1 and 50p.

Since February volunteers have been working their way through thousands of books, the majority of which have been donated by the public over the past year.

Kathleen Benson, a book fair volunteer working at the centre said: “We’ve been sorting the books into categories for over a month now, and have found some real gems.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response throughout the year from people donating their unwanted books,

“I love coming to the centre and finding out what’s arrived that day - we just never know.

“It’s really exciting to sort through boxes full of new donations which we haven’t seen before and it’s great that our visitors can browse through a completely brand new selection of books each year.”

Michelle Gascoigne, with some of the thousands of books on show at the Linskill Centre in 2013
Michelle Gascoigne, with some of the thousands of books on show at the Linskill Centre in 2013
 

David Gray, another book volunteer at Linskill said: “It’s easy to get lost in a book from time to time and start talking about what we’ve found, or reading through the books together.”

The sale, now in its fourth year, attracts bookworms and dealers from all over the North East, some of whom arrive as early as 7am to reserve their places in the queue.

The centre on Linskill Terrace, converted from a former school, is run by the Linskill and North Tyneside Community Development Trust.

The trust was formed to develop and manage the Linskill Centre with the aim of turning it into a successful, self-sustaining venture, providing the community with somewhere they can come to learn, volunteer, relax and engage in activities.

It is now a thriving community centre with 82,000 visits from the North Tyneside community per year.

The centre has 26 permanent tenants hiring space and 35 casual user groups who offer activities and classes on a weekly basis

A community cafe is open six days a week, providing affordable and healthy food and there is also a child care nursery and an events department providing large scale community events, plus a community garden.

For more information or to make a donation of books call 0191 257 8000 or email info@linskill.org

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer