Turning a new page

Marion Morris lost her husband who bought lots of books from the Rotary Fair and is now donating them back. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

About 50 full boxes and three carloads later, Marion Morris now has a lot less books in her home.

Marion has donated the full boxes of books, as well as some jigsaw puzzles and other bits and pieces, to the Rotary Club’s Book Fair this weekend.

Her late husband Keith was an avid collector and reader, and Marion says most of his large collection slowly came home with him from the Rotary’s Book Fair year after year.

The decision to move the books eight years after Keith’s death came from Marion’s daughter, Lynne Cudby.

Marion moved house this year, and says she had left Keith’s library the way it was until the move because the books were all set up in his library.

Lynne thought it would be a good gesture to donate the books back to the Rotary, and their whole family agreed. “There was no hesitation in thinking that it was a good idea,” says Marion.

“That’s where we’d like them to go, and I’m sure Keith would have thought the same.”

Marion says Keith didn’t just get pleasure from reading and collecting the books, but much more.

“He got pleasure out of going and getting them and picking them and sorting them, and that was a little hobby thing for him.”

Marion says Keith was a man of many interests; he also collected books on winemaking, even growing his own grapes and using the information in his collection to craft his own wine at one point.

“In the collection there were several winemaking books. That was another hobby of Keith’s, winemaking.”

Keith had collected ‘National Geographic’ magazines for more than 50 years, as well as books for more than 20 years, and one of his grandsons will hold on to the National Geographics.

His collection spanned the globe, with his favourite genres being geography and history, Marion says. “He had lots of pleasure out of the books.”

A close-knit family, Keith would often leave notes on and inside his books when he saw something that might interest a family member, says Marion.

His granddaughter Amy is studying to be an architect, and Keith would often leave notes in architectural books for her.

“There’d be a wee note saying ‘Show to Amy’ or ‘Give to Amy’ and there’d be something about architecture and he would have thought ‘Oh she’d like that’,” says Marion.

The Tauranga Rotary club will be selling Keith’s books, as well as a whole lot more, at its 29th annual Easter book sale.

The sale is at the Seeka coolstore, Harvard Way, opposite Classic Flyers on March 26-28 from 9am-4.30pm.

Rotary Club publicity officer Ross Prestidge says there will be 20 checkouts and Eftpos is available, as well as plenty of parking.

“We have everything from books, records, CDs, DVDs, jigsaws and more. All books will be organised into alphabetical order,” says Ross.

The two standout books at the sale are the ‘Life of Captain James Cook’ biography and ‘Those Were the Days’ with photos of New Zealand’s history. “They always go,” says Ross.

There will be a collections corner with books available on silent tender, including a Gallipoli centenary pack, with winners announced midday Easter Monday.