Image: Times Colonist

Book lovers rejoice! The 19th annual Times Colonist Raise-a-Reader charity book sale takes place this weekend.

The Times Colonist held its weekend book drive in mid April and Victorians came out in force to donate books that will now be sold during this weekends sale. The drive normally gets around 400,000 books dropped off.

To date, the event has raised more than $2.5 million for literacy-related projects on Vancouver Island.

The book sale is always a popular event and very busy so make sure you know the drill before heading out. Here are 9 things you should know:

1When and where

Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at the Victoria Curling Club – 1952 Quadra St.

2Book costs and payments accepted

The books are cheap: hardcovers $3; softcovers $2; pocket books and children’s books $1. Payment is by cash, debit, Mastercard, Visa or American Express, but no cheques. Jack Knox was on the Q this morning and jokingly told Ed Bain and Cliff LeQuesne they’d accept live cattle from those living in Metchosin.

3Children’s section

The children’s book section, previously in the basement,  moved to an awesome new space on the top floor, last year! It will be there again this year.  Because of the crowd size, and limited space, no strollers upstairs.

4Hunger and thirst strikes

With the thousands of books to browse through, there is a good chance you’re going to get thirst and/or hungry… the café in the curling club will be open.

5Bring some Patience

The lineup to get into the book sale might take a bit. In past years, the sale usually starts off with a lineup around the block. The Times Colonist crew also remind you to wear comfortable shoes!!


There is pay parking in the lot that serves the curling club and Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. If you’d rather not pay or the lot is full… there here is also free parking along Quadra, but be aware that parking on some of the nearby side streets is for residents only. You can also take the No. 6 bus, which goes along Quadra Street.

7What happens to books remaining

Once the sale is over, representatives of schools and non-profit groups may help themselves to the remaining books, for free, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday, May 2.

8Oddest thing found this year

Most years, there is more than books in TC Book Sale donation boxes. Last year, one book they received had been hollowed out, its cavity filled with a baggie of marijuana, another holding two joints, a decent-sized roach and some Zig-Zag rolling papers. This year, it sounds like women’s underwear according to Jack Knox! In past years, they have found someones stash of weed, a cat urn and much more odd stuff!

9Where does the money go

The money raised at the sale goes to the Times Colonist Raise A Reader fund, which issues grants to literacy-related projects on Vancouver Island.