The Charity Book Exchange celebrates its 10th anniversary tomorrow in Greater Taichung. The family-friendly event features live bands, silent auction prizes, local craft vendors and, of course, cheap books.
The exchange draws bibliophiles from around Taiwan for its eclectic mix of live music, local artisans, tasty food, cold drinks and used books in English and Chinese priced at NT$50 each. The event also includes many silent auction prizes, with all donations benefiting the KIDZ fund for children at the Daniel A. Poling and Christian Herald orphanages.
Long-time co-organizer Donovan Smith is very pleased that the charity event has been so successful for the past decade. “Last year we had more than a thousand people over the course of the day, and weather permitting, we are hoping for even more this year,”Smith told the Taipei Times.
This year’s Book Exchange is primarily sponsored by the Frog chain of restaurants in Greater Taichung, which will be donating its alcohol sales to the event. Winning bids on silent auction prizes, which include food and drink vouchers at local restaurants, spa treatments and an outdoor adventure package, will also be donated.
Besides the cheap books, a big draw for many is the free live music, and Peaks frontman Andy Goode is glad that his band will be taking the stage once again.
“We’ve played the book fair a few times now, and it’s always fun,” said Goode. “It’s a great atmosphere, and the crowd really gets into it. There’s a good line-up of bands this year, with a nice variety of styles. I think there’s something for everyone.”
Bands include Dave and Friends, Club Kaoliang, Lima Music (力瑪樂團), Three Day Bender, The Lyrez, Point 22, San Jiao Mao (三腳貓 樂團), Reider Band, Peaks, The Ever So Friendlies. Additional live entertainment includes Ping & Pong Clowns and Taichung Improv.
The Book Exchange will also feature a kids’ area above the main stage, with a large selection of children’s books as well as kid-friendly performances by members of Taichung Improv. Local artisans, including Chameleon Clothing and Greg’s Groovy Glass, will have booths selling their colorful wares.
Last year’s event raised nearly NT$200,000, a figure organizers hope to top this year.
“We really love the feeling of community this event brings out in people,” said co-organizer Smith. “So many people pitch in for charity — it’s just such a positive day.”
Donation books can be dropped off ahead of time at various locations around Greater Taichung, including Whose Travel, Salut Pizza, or any Frog restaurant. Books can also be donated tomorrow at the event site.