Book-lovers have succeeded in raising about $20,000 in the Oamaru Rotary Club Bookarama.

The much-loved annual sale of secondhand books, jigsaw puzzles and DVDs ran all last week at a pop-up shop at 205A Thames St.

It had been postponed twice because of Covid-19 concerns, so the Rotary Club did not expect to get anywhere near last year’s record fundraising total of more than $30,000.

However, it was “thrilled” with the amount it achieved, chairwoman Ele Ludemann said.

The generosity of the book donors and buyers – who were often the same people – was appreciated, Mrs Ludemann said.

Many people said they depended on Bookarama each year for their supply of reading material, she said.

There were hardly any fiction books left unsold, but always more non-fiction leftovers.

Some were being given to charitable organisations, the more valuable volumes were being taken to dealers in Dunedin or sold online, and the rest would go into a storage container.

A portion of the proceeds would go towards the new playground to be developed at the Oamaru Public Gardens, Mrs Ludemann said.

The Bookarama crew was made up of Rotary members who volunteered in between other commitments and people who were not club members, but helped out because they loved books.

Their expertise in assessing the value of the donated books was “really helpful”, Mrs Ludemann said.

Those sorting the books learned to become less prone to hoarding, she said.

They were becoming much more disciplined in passing on books before they were too old and worn to be treasured by a new reader.

Mrs Ludemann said she would be back to help with next year’s Bookarama.

“We couldn’t disappoint the public.

“And it’s such a great fundraiser.”