Keen book buyers were queueing early at the door of the Tancred Street Sports Hall on Monday for the opening of the 39th Bookarama.
The general public and book retailers were allowed in at 8am and immediately began the search for book bargains and rare finds.
A large visiting contingent from South Canterbury, most here for Boulevard Day, bolstered numbers soon afterwards.
As well as books, Bookarama has magazines, CDs, records, DVDs, jigsaws and games.
The event is a long-running project for the Rotary Club of Ashburton and has raised over $1million over the years.
Event convener David Mead said a big crowd had been expected on the opening day and numbers had not disappointed.
“We make a chunk of our money on the opening day, so we’re happy to see everyone here, but it does make for a big day for volunteers.”
Mr Mead said many Rotary club members lent a hand and were rostered on to help out over the week.
Bookarama is open until 8.30pm tonight (Thursday), from 9am until 5.30pm tomorrow and from 8am until noon on Saturday.