The Charm of Used Bookfairs

Can bookfairs, especially used bookfairs, survive in a world that is moving away from physical spaces and printed books to online downloads and E-Readers? The annual used bookfair at the Immanuel German School proves that there is still a large community of book lovers and book hunters who line up to find treasures, even in a niche market like the one for books in the German language.

This bookfair offers titles and learning tools that you simply cannot find anywhere else. “Many of our visitors are looking for book bargains, and there are plenty of books that were collecting dust on someone’s bookshelf that make a great read for someone else”, says Del Hausman, Principal of the Immanuel German School in Philadelphia.

But not only private book collectors stroll through the tables that are sorted according to genres. Booksellers look for antiquarian books, out-of-prints, rare books and signed first editions. It is the combination of high-quality books and low costs and even if the books have flaws one can get a good read for almost nothing. Everyone attending the bookfair will find something that interests them and fits his or her budget.

For many visitors, bookfairs are a unifying joyful memory from childhood. Who doesn’t remember strolling through the bookfairs of schools and libraries looking for treasures to take home and have a nice read with a hot cocoa. For schools and non-profit organizations like the Immanuel German School, they are a way to make some revenue. The proceeds from used book sales can help provide funding. They are also a wonderful opportunity to help others in need through the world of literature, while meeting people and having fun.

“Our bookfair relies on book donations, mostly from private book collections. They are a great opportunity to clean out one’s bookshelf and give others the joy of a treasure hunt. The proceeds help us to support the school in its effort to keep the tuitions low”, says Del Hausman.