September brings the fall colours and the start of school in Kingston, but if you love books, then one of the greatest events in the city is about to start. The Kingston Symphony Book Fair will soon open its doors, and bibliophiles from across the city and the surrounding areas will descend on the city hunting for various editions of the printed word.
I first became aware of the Kingston Symphony Book Fair 14 years ago. I was driving up Union Street, when I noticed the sign, Used Book Sale. The moment I walked into the old warehouse where the new Tett Centre now sits, I was hooked. There were rows upon rows of books, and I ended up spending hours searching through the stacks. A sign for the Kingston Symphony hung on the wall telling me who the wonderful people were that organized this sale. When I purchased a copy of Pierre Berton’s Niagara, I planned on always coming back.
You might think, what’s the big deal? Why should I care about this used book sale starting Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 4:30 p.m.? This is an experience that you will not find anywhere else. There are tens of thousands of books waiting to find a new home and all at affordable prices.
Now that I have whetted your appetite for one of the best September events in Kingston, here are the top 5 reasons why the Kingston Symphony Book Fair is not to be missed.
- Books, Books, Books – I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – there are thousands of books waiting to be bought. Over the last fourteen years, I have purchased a variety of books from older hardcover out of print books, to modern day fiction novels for low prices. You could find everything from older versions of Roberston Davies classics, to the latest Dan Brown novel. You could also pick up amazing coffee table books. There’s even a kid section, and a large 50 cent paper back section. It doesn’t matter what your interest is, you will find it here.
- The Thrill of the Hunt – This goes with my first reason, the thrill of the hunt. There is no telling what you will find at the Book Fair. With so much to choose from, and the donations being so varied, you could literally stumble across a treasure, and find that it is less than $5. What’s not to like about that? Over the course of the week I probably spend three solid hours perusing the collection – I feel like a kid in a candy store!
- Environmentally Friendly – What do you do with those unwanted books that are clogging your bookcase? You might recycle them, but most likely they are given out to thrift stores or thrown away. With the Kingston Symphony Book Fair, thousands of books each year are given a new home, and no doubt diverted from the garbage dump.
- One of a Kind – This type of book sale is a one of a kind event. It’s not often that you will have access to, and the opportunity to purchase one of a kind books at such a decent value. The Kingston Symphony Book Fair is not only an event to attend, but it proves to the rest of the world, that books are still popular.
- It’s for a Good Cause – The Kingston Symphony has been running this fundraiser for years. The money that is generated at this sale goes back to the Symphony. Kingston is home to a talented symphony that every season dazzles audiences with their musical talent. Come buy one book and support this group.
I will be in line on Wednesday, Sept. 5 eagerly waiting for the door to open at 4:30 p.m. I will gladly pay $5 to see the treasures that are looking for new homes, and I will no doubt come home Wednesday with a mountain of literature.
A few things to know before you go. The sale is located at 785 Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard, Unit 7A. Travel the rough road, and park where all the other cars are parked, they are there for the sale too.
The $5 admission applies to the first day, Wednesday, Sept. 5 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The sale lasts several days and has free admission every other day. The Book Fair hours are: Thursday, Sept. 6, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Check out the sale and support the Kingston Symphony.
Bill Gowsell was born and raised in Kingston. With an interest in history, food, wine, and all things Disney, Bill has been writing for the last eight years on a variety of topics. During the summers he can be found at the family cottage north of Kingston, or at the bottom of Lake Ontario… scuba diving.
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