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Stack of books

Six hidden gems you'll find at the Chancellor's Book Fair

There’s always a chance to bag a bargain at the Chancellor’s Committee’s Book Fair. Here's your guide to the best hidden gems you can find in the Great Hall this year – and cheap textbooks are just the start.

This year marks the 34th Annual Book Fair, which sees the Great Hall filled to the brim with a 100 tables holding over 50,000 books on sale for bargain prices. To put that in perspective – if you laid them end on end, that’s a mile of books, which is the distance from the Great Hall to Redfern station. There are plenty of different genres to choose. Check out our guide to the 2019 Book Fair, from 14 September to 18 September.

Rare books and collectables

While there will be plenty of well-known books on sale at the Fair, there are also some incredible rare books. This year, there are hundreds of books on display, from rare first editions to 19th century books of literature and poetry, and books signed by their authors. Come down to hunt for some literary treasures and get your hands on some amazing rare books and collectibles.

Cheap textbooks

Receiving a book list at the start of semester can be daunting. Luckily, there will be used text books on sale at this year’s Fair – so it’s well worth coming down to see if you can snag a deal on used, cheap textbooks. The University Libraries donate books too, and past fairs have seen students find textbooks for just 10% of the retail price. The best books go quickly, though, so be sure to head down early.

Some bedtime reading

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from endless study notes, and what better way to do that then diving into a good (non-academic) book. There are hundreds of novels to peruse at the Book Fair, from classics to young adult fiction, and everything in between. Plus, the two final days of the Fair are a buyers dream – you can fill a box with books for only $10 on Tuesday, and $5 on Wednesday, regardless of the prices written in the books. With no limit on the number of boxes you can fill, it’s the perfect chance to get your bedtime reading sorted.

Books for all areas of interest 

Whether you’re a History major, a budding musician or a keen artist, there’ll be a book for you. There are hundreds of books under every subject you can think of – speciality children’s books, ancient Egyptian archaeology, and beautifully printed art books are just the start. Plus, this year the fair received a donation from the estate of Richard Divall, former director of the Victorian Opera, so many of his incredible music books and sheet music will be on sale.

Cook up a storm

There’s a great range of cookbooks on sale at this year’s Fair, from shiny new books by celebrity chefs to pre-loved classics from the likes of  Margaret Fulton and Julia Child. With all books available at a fraction of their retail price, there’s no excuse not to come by and start your journey to becoming a master chef – or at least learn to cook a few staples to get you through Uni.

Fuel your wanderlust

Just back from a European summer? Never fear – there are plenty of travel books on sale for under $5 to get you planning your next adventure. Plus, you’ll find books in all different languages to help you get bilingual in no time, and people from all over the world find books in their native languages, so whatever the language, you’ll be sure to find a book.

Become a librarian for the day

You could make your Hogwarts dreams come true by volunteering at the Fair and spending the day amongst the books in the Great Hall. Anyone is welcome to volunteer, from students to members of the public, and everyone has a ball setting up and running the Fair. Get in touch with the Chancellor’s Committee to ask about how to volunteer.

With thousands of books on sale for low prices, this year’s Book Fair is your chance to grab books from an amazing range of subjects. The money raised supports scholarships, maintenance of historic buildings and other vital projects at the University of Sydney.­­­

30 August 2019

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