The Christian Aid book sale at St Andrew’s & St George’s Church in Edinburgh, Scotland, began its life on a very small scale in 1974 and has now become a national institution - the largest church development sale of its kind in the UK.
Every one of the last five events having raised over £100,000 for the development agency - which works in partnership with the poor, of all creeds and none, and seeks to eliminate poverty and injustice.
Last year the attraction was Doctor Who memorabilia. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Scottish printing and publishing, and it promises to be a major celebration of literary Edinburgh - a city that leading author Muriel Sparks described as “built on books”.
The book sale opens at 10.00am on Saturday 10 May and – with the exception of Sunday 11 May – runs until Friday 16 May.
Award-winning author A L Kennedy will be he patron of the 2008 event, say the organisers.
Kennedy is one of Scotland’s best know writers, and was awarded both the Saltire Book of the Year prize and the Costa Book of the Year award for her Second World War novel, Day.
Ms Kennedy will be visiting the church at 3 pm on Thursday 8 May, when she will meet some of the volunteers preparing the books for sale. Some noteworthy items set to feature in the sale will be shown to her. During the patron’s visit, former Lord Provost Lesley Hinds will present Christian Aid with a two-volume boxed set: Edinburgh: World City of Literature.
These handsome volumes made up Edinburgh’s UNESCO bid and tell the story of the city’s literary past and present, as well as giving the vision of the future. There was only a very small edition of these volumes, and most copies were given to delegates prior to the award of City of Literature status in January 2005. The Christian Aid Book Sale will be the first opportunity there has been to purchase this rare set.
Among other items of local interest for sale will be a set of eighty original Victorian street plans of Edinburgh, as well as a fine volume issued to celebrate the laying of the foundation of the new North Bridge in 1896, commissioned by the Town Council and printed by Banks & Co at the Grange Printing Works.