Thursday, 27 January 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Lifeline Bookfest

(Update: 2013 Bookfest dates are Sat.8 - Tu.11 June 2013.)

Books relevant to family history are lurking in secondhand shops, markets and book fairs. One of the best places to find them is at the Lifeline Bookfest, which is held in Brisbane in January and June each year. The January 2011 Lifeline Bookfest has been rescheduled because of the recent floods. It starts on Saturday 29 Jan and ends on Sunday 6 Feb. (If you live elsewhere, ask your local Lifeline Shop whether there is a similar event in your area.) The Bookfest is held in the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre at South Brisbane. There are separate halls for Unpriced, Priced, High Quality and Rare/Collectibles. Within each hall, books are arranged by category (fiction, children's, etc).

The real treasures for family historians are usually in the 'Australiana' or 'History' sections. Look for books about the history of regions, towns, schools, churches, businesses and organisations. You may even find some published family histories. The Reference section often has atlases, street directories, medical dictionaries, etc; and I once saw a complete set of The Public Acts of Queensland 1828-1936. You may also want to stock up on ring binders and lever arch files, which sometimes cost less than a dollar.

And the real money-saving tip? If you are on a tight budget, wait until the last day when the (already affordable) price is reduced by 50%!

I strongly advise you to bring a suitcase on wheels, as books soon get heavy when you are browsing. Undercover parking is available (about $15, I think). Local street parking is limited and fills quickly. Another option is to travel by train to South Brisbane station.

Can you add to my suggestions? Do you know of similar events elsewhere? What genealogical gems have you found at a Bookfest? Please share your thoughts by entering a comment below.

('Thrifty Thursday' is a theme used by Geneabloggers.)


  1. I've had great success with visiting estate sales. So often, the surviving family members place little value on "old books," and they are often sold by the box load for a paltry sum.

  2. Judy,
    Lifeline also hold regular bookfairs in Sydney. My local Vinnies store has a great book section where I often pick up bargains too.

  3. I hoped someone would offer tips for other towns and cities, so thanks very much for your comment, Jill.

  4. I have chosen you for the "One Lovely Blog Award!" Please visit my blog, for your badge and acceptance rules.

  5. Thanks very much for the Award, Kay. I will take the appropriate action ASAP. I arrived home this morning (after a great week on the 'Pacific Dawn' for the History & Genealogy Conference) and came back to earth with a thump. The safety switch turned my power off while I was away so now I have to sort out the mess in the fridge/freezer. Urk!


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