Romances were in hot demand and jigsaws were the runaway favourites, but it was a hunter who scored, arguably, the best all-round catch – a $200 deerstalking book for just a couple of bucks.
The Rotary Club of Cromwell has a proud history of extremely successful annual book sales, and this year’s, held at Queen’s Birthday Weekend, was no different with $15,000 raised.
Club public relations director Pam Broadhead says the four-day book sale has established itself as quite a tradition.
“The local community and book lovers from far and wide treat it as a ‘not to be missed’ event,” Pam says.
And, in this era of all things digital, the sale is proving some things are refusing to go out of style.
“Children’s books are always popular, and Mills and Boon-type romances sold well, but jigsaws were the surprise big seller at this year’s sale. On top of that, we had thousands of second-hand books, magazines, music CDs, videos and records,” Pam says.  
“There were a few ‘gems’' among the stock and bargains to be had – one man bought up all the books on deerstalking, including one for $2, which was worth $200. He’d been on the lookout and was very pleased with his find.
“It’s hidden gems like that, and the thrill of potentially bagging such a bargain, that keeps the sale exciting and attracts more people.”
Pam paid tribute to book sale team leader Lindsay Wilkie, and the wider organising team, saying careful planning had made the sale the success it was, and enabled Rotary to make such a sizeable contribution to a raft of community projects and support.
Feedback around the venue – the Cromwell Bowling Club rooms, on Alpha Street, - has also been very positive, with people commenting on the great lighting, heating and parking.
“People said they actually stayed longer and bought more because everything was so well set up.”
Good things take time, Pam says, so planning for next year’s sale is already underway, and the club has put out the call for second-hand books, magazines, games and music.