SNACS Book Fair a literary success!

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

Bibliophiles pore over tables full of gently-used books at the SNACS Book Fair held Nov. 3 at the Eastern Québec Learning Centre.

Quebec City’s annual English-language book fair, run for the first time by SNACS (Special Needs Activities & Community Services) Entrepreneurs after eight decades of stewardship by the Quebec City Women’s Club, attracted quite a crowd looking for some extra reading material for the dark and dreary winter months.

The gymnasium at the Eastern Québec Learning Centre quickly filled up after the doors opened at 9 a.m. on Nov. 3. People headed for their favourite sections: fiction and non-fiction, history, religion, French, cooking, gardening, art and more. Parents with young children headed directly to the back of the gym, where books for young readers were spread out on tables. There were eight tables full of French-language books this year, and more in boxes under the tables.

One new development this year involved dividing the fiction books into bestsellers and series. At least 12 copies of Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons were stacked up on one table. There were many of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books and innumerable books by James Patterson, John Grisham, and of course, Louise Penny!

An attempt was made at sorting the fiction books by author, but with well over 27,000 books donated, it became a daunting task. Books that arrived in the last few days before the sale were simply left in their boxes, not sorted into categories.

SNACS Entrepreneurs president Helen Walling was happy to report that by the end of the day, the group had made over $9,500 in sales, just shy of their $10,000 objective.

“We had 750 people come through the doors,” said Walling. “There were 20 volunteers on the day of the sale and many more during the week for setup.

“This event was made possible due to the hard work of the event planning committee, which was co-ordinated by Nectaria Skokos and key partners including the Quebec City Women’s Club, Eastern Québec Learning Centre, Quebec High School Community Learning Centre, Voice of English-speaking Québec, Jeffery Hale Community Partners and the Central Quebec School Board,” said Walling, thanking everyone who donated books.

There are always some books left over at the end of the day. “Most we are keeping; we have lots of storage [space] here,” Walling said. “We have some old books in poor condition that we may recycle, and the rest we’ll give to other organizations.”

The SNACS program provides activities and support for English-speaking children, teens and young adults with intellectual disabilities. Its two main goals are to offer safe and inclusive activities that encourage socialization and stimulation and to provide respite for families and caregivers. The program is open to people living in the greater Quebec City region. Visit for more details.