Bibliophiles of all ages satisfied

For the past 34 years, Margaret Hawley has set aside 24 hours in her calendar for shopping - book shopping.

As more than 200 people queued at the Regent Theatre in the Octagon yesterday to get first access to the thousands of books offered during the Star Regent 24-Hour Book Sale, Mrs Hawley and her husband Norman were among them.

''We've never missed one,'' the 83-year-old said.

Ever since she read her first book, The Water-Babies, as a child she had been hooked on reading.

''I got taken up to the old library in Moray Pl and that was my first book. I'm not sure I particularly liked it,'' she said with a laugh.

Despite her ambivalence towards her early choice of reading material, her passion for reading developed.

''We have 600-700 books at home,'' she said.

And the annual book sale gave her a chance to add to the collection.

She was particularly focused on buying ''Reader's Digest books where you get four volumes in one''.

Another reader who made the book sale an annual event was 2-year-old Amelia Galbraith.

Amelia had been to three Regent 24-hour sales and was excited about the event.

Her favourite book was ''Dalmatian puppies'' (101 Dalmatians).

More than 50 volunteers are required to handle about 250,000 books each year.

The book sale and the Anything But Books Sale, held in February, raise about $100,000 for the theatre every year.

The book sale ends at noon today.


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