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BSO book fair is a success on opening day

Brantford Symphony OrchestraBSO book fair is a success on opening day

Hundreds of bookworms attended the opening day of the Brantford Symphony Orchestra’s book fair held on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

Over 300 people were lined up to enter the building with one particular visitor lining up at 3:30 a.m. to have his first choice of the record selection.

Penny MacKenzie, a BSO book fair committee member said that all of the committee’s hard work was worth seeing so many book lovers find their treasures.

“I’m thrilled to bits that people are so keen to be back where they can actually touch books, choose books, and find treasures,” she said. “I was only here for two minutes before I heard someone gasp and shout, ‘I found it!’ and honestly, that has to be one of my favourite sounds.”

Book lovers could be seen scattered throughout the room as they looked for genres that sparked their interest at the BSO book fair on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

Customers came prepared with lists, reusable grocery bags and even suitcases as they jumped at the chance to expand their collections. With thousands of books, crafts, CDs, DVDs, puzzles and more to search through, there was no shortage of bags filled to the brim with good finds.

Customers could be seen from above as they searched through the thousands of books during the opening day of the BSO book fair on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

While some picked up a variety of genres, others were there to collect specific topics like sewing, gardening, religion, cooking or history.

Sherri Hargreaves of Burford was one of the many that traveled into town for the return of the book fair and was excited about the energy in the room with so many book lovers present.

“I’ve never seen so many books all in one place, let alone so many book lovers,” she said. “Nobody here doesn’t love books, we filtered out those people,” she laughed. “I’ve honestly known people that have told me ‘you’ll never learn anything from a book,’ and I think that puts a limit on your life, but clearly we don’t have anyone like that here today.”

One customer already filled a shopping cart with books before bringing over another large pile of hardcovers during the opening day of the BSO book fair on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

Others could be heard echoing her words as they spoke to their friends and family members while reflecting on stories from their childhoods and reminiscing about the adventures they have had through various books.

“Oh, I’ve been all over the world because of reading,” said one customer. “I’ve been dancing all night in Spain, strolling through the streets of Denmark, I’ve hiked Mount Everest, walked through the pyramids in Egypt and hitchhiked my way through the galaxy.”

When it came time for checkout, customers had the option to go through the express checkout for ten books and under, while those with more were met with several volunteers at the regular checkout working to keep the line moving.

Book fair volunteers worked hard to keep the check out line moving smoothly during the opening day of the BSO book fair on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

With book prices starting at one dollar, friends could be overheard excitedly asking each other how much their total came to and talking about the great deals they found as they helped each other carry their finds to the car.

The book fair has been up and running since 1964 and the committee has become the largest contributor of funds for the BSO to operate and put on shows. The money raised from this four-day event will help contribute to upcoming concerts like Canadian Celtic Roots.

The event is taking place at 18 Spalding Street in Brantford, and is on April 26 to April 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and April 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Ashley Ezekiel, Crystal Park and Jenn Johnson posed with their bags and boxes of book finds after checking out at the BSO book fair on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

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