staff the store each Wednesday. “I love books. Every time I go to work, I come home with a book,” she laughs. “And, of course, I’m finding lots of good stuff here today, too.” A retired teacher, Susan began volunteering at Fernlea about two years ago after her husband Robin unexpectedly passed away. “It gets me out of the house and I really enjoy the people,” she says. “They’re so interesting and I’m able to recommend authors to them. People come from London, Hamilton…all over really.” Although e-readers and tablets have definitely changed the way Canadians read in recent years, Bernie, Susan and the book sale volunteers believe there’s still a market for traditional books— especially if the price is right. “A lot of people still like holding a book in their hands, and they like the idea that their spending is supporting something good,” says Dave. “Buying and reading a book online is convenient, but there’s something to be said for the thrill of the hunt and those serendipitous finds.” “We see families come in and the kids carrying books around like they’re gold. We get collectors coming through, seasonal farm workers, people who are looking for one or two particular authors—we see it all,” Bob says. The Rotary Club’s efforts to promote literacy aren’t limited to the annual book fair, however. Fernlea IVIX Books is located in a former motel on Highway 3, just east of Courtland. The store is renowned for its selection of recent popular fiction.
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