Sixty Year Chapter Coming to a Close

Author: C.L. Harmon
Category: charity
Date Published: January 26, 2020

Since the print­ing of the first Guten­berg Bible in 1452, more than just the elite and church lead­ers have had the incred­i­ble expe­ri­ence of hold­ing the writ­ten word in their hands and turn­ing pages to dis­cov­er new adven­tures and knowl­edge. Books have been the foun­da­tion for edu­ca­tion and enter­tain­ment for sev­er­al hun­dred years. As such, it’s a fair assump­tion that book fairs are prob­a­bly almost as old. One such Okla­homa book fair has been in exis­tence for 60 years. Hol­land Hall Epis­co­pal School in Tul­sa has been host­ing its annu­al book fair since 1960. It is cur­rent­ly the largest youth book fair in the state.

The book fair is a fundrais­er for the school, but also so much more, accord­ing to co-chair Erin Red­fearn. The book fair encour­ages peo­ple through­out the year to donate, books, toys, games, music, and media which is then sold at dis­count­ed prices to the pub­lic at their annu­al book fair. It’s a win for both the school and the pub­lic, not to men­tion that it allows for unwant­ed items to bring fur­ther val­ue to oth­ers who pur­chase them and not sim­ply dis­card­ed in a waste­bas­ket. Red­fearn says that for the past three years any­where from 1,700 to 3,000 peo­ple have attend­ed the one-day event in search of qual­i­ty dis­count­ed trea­sures of knowl­edge and enter­tain­ment. This doesn’t include chil­dren whose admit­tance is free.

“We don’t want peo­ple to just get rid of their books. We want them to end up in the hands of oth­ers who can enjoy them,” Red­fearn said. The dona­tion dri­ves have become so suc­cess­ful that Hol­land Hall brings in much more than it can sell. This offers them the oppor­tu­ni­ty to give back to local char­i­ties such as Pen­cil Box, an orga­ni­za­tion that strives to pro­vide Tul­sa Coun­ty stu­dents with much-need­ed school sup­plies and books. The orga­niz­ers help var­i­ous oth­er local char­i­ties with sur­plus dona­tions as well.

Red­fearn and her co-chair Kristin Lees work with many oth­er vol­un­teers through­out the year col­lect­ing, sort­ing, pric­ing and orga­niz­ing the event, which will be held Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 29. The event runs from 8 am to 3 pm and is being held at the Hol­land Hall Pri­ma­ry School gym with over 100 vol­un­teers work­ing the event in dif­fer­ent capacities.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this will be the last year for the book fair. Red­fearn explained that the ris­ing inter­est in dig­i­tal media indi­cates a down­ward trend in people’s inter­est in obtain­ing actu­al books. The orga­niz­ers feel that with this trend and the mile­stone of 60 years, it’s a good time to end on a high note.

“We are cur­rent­ly look­ing for oth­er mean­ing­ful ways to impact Hol­land Hall and the local com­mu­ni­ties and are excit­ed to see what those ways are. We want to stay com­mit­ted to help­ing the com­mu­ni­ty and chan­nel­ing our ener­gies in dif­fer­ent ways,” Red­fearn said. She added that the last half-hour of the book fair will be com­prised of a bag sale. Those inter­est­ed will be giv­en a paper bag and every­thing they can shove in that bag will only cost $10. After the book fair, the remain­ing books and oth­er items will be donat­ed to the var­i­ous char­i­ties with whom Hol­land Hall works.

Ernest Hem­ing­way said, “There is no friend as loy­al as a book,”. Per­haps we take this quote a page fur­ther and add that there is no lover of books as loy­al as one who pass­es one on to anoth­er. Hol­land Hall has cer­tain­ly passed on many great books over the past 60 years. It sure­ly is a bit sad that tech­nol­o­gy is slow­ly tak­ing the expe­ri­ence of hold­ing a good book in our hands and end­ing such won­der­ful events as book fairs. But as this chap­ter in his­to­ry draws to a close, it must be of great joy to the spir­it of Johannes Guten­berg that the writ­ten word he so des­per­ate­ly want­ed to share through ink and paper with all the world has been done so often and so well for 570 years.



C.L. Harmon

C.L. Harmon

C.L. is an award-winning journalist who spent many years in the newspaper and freelance fields. In addition to holding reporting and editing positions throughout his career, he also owned and operated a newspaper for several years. He was born, raised, and continues to reside in Oklahoma.

1 Comment

  1. Christie Duschel

    Check out Look4abookUSA.


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