17 April 2003

The queue to The University of Queensland Alumni Association’s book fair is always longer than War and Peace and 2003 will be no exception, according to book fair convenor Feona Walker.

From a copy of Alfred Russel Wallace’s The Malay Archipelago published in 1869 to a more upbeat vinyl record of The Beatles The White Album (Australian version), the 13th biennial book fair will cater for a variety of tastes.

The event will take place at the UQ Centre on Union Road next to the Schonell Theatre from Friday, April 25 to 29, daily from 11am to 6pm, except April 25 (noon to 6pm). It will feature hundreds of thousands of books, magazines, periodicals, sheet music and records.

“People find books, music and other items they would never find anywhere else,” Ms Walker said.

“On the first day they bring their camp stools and flasks and queue from 7:30am even though it doesn’t start until noon.”

There will also be a selection of watercolour paintings for sale, coffee table books in immaculate condition and even a collection of postcards.

Ms Walker said donations flooded in from a variety of sources including the UQ and Griffith University libraries and the estate of the late UQ Professor Michael Spencer.

“It is high quality, interesting material. Dealers come from all over. They are particularly interested in our Australiana section,” Ms Walker said.

She said volunteers who specialised in specific subjects had worked tirelessly to divide the donated books into specific groups such as sport, history, Australiana, gardening, cookery, foreign languages, ballet, art, children’s books, travel, sci-fi and novels.

The book fair will be preceded by a rare book auction on Thursday, April 24 at the Women’s College Playhouse at 6:30pm.

The fair will raise money to support initiatives such as the UQ Excellence in Teaching Awards, the Alumnus and Graduate of the Year, postgraduate and sporting scholarships and students with disabilities.

The proceeds from the 2001 book fair helped to fund a number of scooters for disabled students as well as equipment for various UQ schools and faculties.

Media: For more information, contact Book Fair Convenor Feona Walker (telephone 07 3392 4419) or Alumni Executive Officer Lynne Norris (telephone 07 3365 1561) or Chris Saxby at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2479, email: c.saxby@uq.edu.au).