From Nov. 4-5, the 22nd edition of the annual book fair is taking over Concordia’s EV building
Whoever said that people don’t read anymore might want to stop at Concordia’s epic book fair for a reality check.
The two-day sale has been a successful tradition. For over 20 years, it has attracted students looking for their textbooks to save money, but also staff members and even non-Concordians looking to find a treasure.
“It seems like for young people, though they utilize technology or listen to audiobooks, there is still an appeal for hard book,” said Luke Quin, writer and coordinator for the fundraising book fair. “Especially when it comes to older books, earlier edition, things that might not be accessible on Amazon.”
Quin explained that the idea behind having thousands of books on display at a low rate is to collect funds for scholarships, but also for the Student Emergency and Food fund. This particular fund is intended for any students in immediate financial need, to provide them with gift cards for groceries.
Books donations are made all year round, often from professors and retirees who are emptying out their offices, Quin said. While people might expect it to contain only academic novels, there are also entire sections dedicated to children’s books, sport, fiction or even good old romance.
“I came last year, so I am coming back to try and find anything interesting,” said Nazim Ben, a Concordia student in the Finance Department. “I am just curious for anything that is cool!”
Indeed, patience is needed to browse through the multiple sections. Susan Hawke, a retiree who has volunteered at the fair since its second edition, remembers how it started simply with two or three tables in the Hall building.
“It was always my fear, for a long time, that people would stop reading or [stop wanting to read in book format], but it always seems to be the reverse,” Hawke said.
If you’re measuring success in terms of money, the event has been prosperous, managing to increase the number of donations over the years. The Advancement and Alumni Relations reported that the 2018 edition raised over $31,000, a record for the event.
But for Quin and the volunteers, it’s also successful as it takes used books that might have ended up in the garbage and offers them to students instead.
“People that go through the cash register, they go with a stranger’s book that is falling apart or some old fiction book that was selling for 25 cents,” Hawke said. “You never know what appeals to people, it’s quite fun, matching people and books.”
Feature photo by Jad Abukasm