Concordia’s EPIC Used Book Fair returns for the first time since 2019

Photo by Catherine Reynolds

Concordia’s annual book fair aimed to beat their goal of raising $30,000 for student scholarships through volunteer events

Concordia’s annual EPIC Used Book Fair made its grand return with over 1000 books to sell. The event took place in the EV building atrium on March 28-29. The fair aims to raise funds for student scholarships and give a second life to used books. 

This year, the fair received 30 pallets, with each pallet containing over 20 boxes of books. The books were donated by faculty members, alumni, students and people from the community. Event coordinator Luke Quin said they were accepting donations year-round. 

The book fair’s purpose is to raise funds for students. It is a charity event where all proceeds go towards student scholarships.

“Some of us are also passionate about used books and giving a second home to used books, so that’s an added incentive to running this fair,” said Quin, who would rather see a book go home with a new friend than see it end up in a landfill.

Students and members of the public can find books of all types, from science and math textbooks to books on performing arts. 

Giordano Imola is a student in the performance creation program of Concordia’s theatre department who stumbled upon the book fair. “I came looking for plays […] and I found a bunch that I’m just looking forward to reading. I’m just deciding what to keep now,” said Imola.

The pricing was one of the main selling points of the book fair. Book prices began at $3 and went up to $10. In previous years, the book fair had made up to $30,000 dollars. This year they hoped to raise more. 

The fair was entirely volunteer-run. The Concordian spoke with volunteer Ginette Leduc, who said that by 2 p.m. on the first day, her cash register alone had made around 150 sales, and she estimated that her partners had made similar sales.

It was Leduc’s first time working the cash register, which she found quite stressful albeit enjoyable. “People understand, there’s big lineups sometimes, but it’s for a good cause so that’s OK,” she said.

The book fair has been running for 20 years. Before Quin took over in 2016, it was run by Susan Hawke and a small core group of volunteers. Since then, they’ve been able to recruit new volunteers, accept electronic payment and get more book donations. Quin says they’ve had some support from Concordia’s University Advancement community and fundraising program to promote the book fair on social media, and a ton of support from the services and sustainability sector of the university.

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