From humble beginnings in 1964 when the University branch of Save the Children Australia raised £101 through its first book sale at The University of Western Australia, this year's sale is expected to raise almost $300,000.
The 50th annual book sale will run from Friday 15 August till Wednesday 20 August, with Tuesday as half-price day and Wednesday bargain box day. More than 100,000 books are estimated to be on offer in the Undercroft of Winthrop Hall, having been sorted into 4,500 boxes in over 50 categories, as well as sheet music, LP records, CDs and DVDs.
Shenton Park resident Rosalind Lindsay has been a member of the University branch of Save the Children Australia (SCA) and book sale volunteer for 42 years.
"I became involved partly because reading has always been a joy, and partly because the chance to be involved in a very positive group that focussed strongly on the welfare of children at home and abroad fitted my philosophy," Mrs Lindsay said.
"I have a blur of memories, from the thrill of seeing the queue on opening night, snaking its was around the Reflection Pool; groups of youngsters huddled on the steps near the children's books stall, all dipping into their treasure trove (while parents hastily look for the elusive book on their wish list); the occasional query as to why the books are not displayed alphabetically...and the fellowship among all the volunteers."
Mrs Linsday is one of around 50 volunteers who work throughout the year to prepare for the book sale while 130 volunteers help at the annual sale, including UWA students from the student branch of SCA, Uni Camp for Kids, UWA staff and families and other casual volunteers.
SCA runs programs in metropolitan Perth, including helping new migrant families, and in the North West of the state, particularly with Indigenous families and children. It also has programs operating in South East Asia and contributes to an international emergency relief fund.
Last year's book sale raised just over $230,000 but with other book sales donated to the University branch, the total amount raised was $289,000.