The return of Women For Music's Giant Book Sale

The mammoth blowout of top-quality titles is excellent for many reasons, our correspondent notes.

inside the book collections depot, where treasures for this weekend's sale await.
W4M Giant Book Sale
Halifax Forum, Saturday, October 9, 8:30am to 5:30pm; Sunday, October 10, 9am to 3pm. Entrance on Almon Street side. Book your appointment here (or take your chances)


Back in the ancient times before the great contagion, Woman For Music holds two book sales a year. They are at the Halifax Forum, across Almon Street from Jimmy's, where you can get a really good eggs-over-easy kind of breakfast. The books in the sale are collected from donations to the depot, which is in the basement of the Maritime Conservatory, on Chebucto Road. The depot is open for a few hours on a few days of the week. The space was used as a morgue after the 1917 explosion—and looks and feels much the same.

I have been volunteering with W4M for about five years, but I missed the last year because I was too busy having open heart surgery (and many complications). The depot has more or less missed the last year also. We have not held the last two sales, and so we are down about $40k, since we bring in just over $20k per sale.

That money goes to support Symphony Nova Scotia in bringing in women conductors, composers and soloists. We started these sales before your Mama was born, in the fall of 1962, and I think some of our members were there at the start. I'm 67, and one of the very youngest members. I pay my dues but I don't go to the meetings—which I really should go to, since I have some groundbreaking ideas, like accepting credit cards, for Pete's sake. The sale has always accepted cheques, if that helps you out at all. Bring wads of cash.

So the sale is back! In a slightly modified form. Entry is by appointment but we will accept walk-ins if there's room. As of Wednesday afternoon, there are lots of spaces after 9:30am on Saturday and on Sunday. We will be holding the hugely popular “Bag Sale” starting at noon on Sunday, where you get to fill a bag for five bucks. You need proof of vaccination to enter, and it is my fervent desire that I will be able to be at the desk that examines certificates and turns away ignorant dumbasses who have not been jabbed.

Of course wear a mask. Usually the books are put out in one huge hurrah, but this year, we cannot because a) we are going to have 50 tables instead of 80 and b) we have collected one giant shit ton of books. So the tables will be replenished during the sale.

The W4M sale is an excellent sale for many reasons, and here are two: Firstly, we are scrupulous about the condition of the books we present to you. We have to tear up a lot of garbage books so that you can get a clean product in good enough condition to give away as a gift. Secondly, the books are put out in many categories so that you don't have to wade through multiple versions of Chicken Soup for the Soul if what you're looking for is the early works of Germaine Greer.