Thousands flock floating book fair

June 12, 2017
Scores of persons wait patiently at the ticketing booth.
Tasheka Rankine showing off the books she got for her children.
The cashiers were kept busy as patrons were eager to make purchases.
Children seem happy with their new books.

Patrons who attended the final day of the Logos Hope Floating Book Fair in Kingston had to endure over two hours of waiting in the pelting sun before boarding the vessel, but many said it was well worth the wait.

About 2 p.m. on Saturday, some 3,334 persons had already boarded the world's largest floating book fair, with hundreds more standing in line and others just arriving.

"If you want good, you nose affi run. You think the line long now? You shoulda see when it pass the overhead bridge on the road. It took me two and a half hours to get in, but the experience was great overall. The books are nice and very reasonable and the food is nice too," Latoya Benjamin told THE STAR, at the Carib Cement dock in Rockfort.

Benjamin said the fair was so nice, she did it twice, last Tuesday, and again on Saturday, when she brought her four nieces and got 18 books for a little over $11,000.

Edna Davis, who journeyed from Portmore, St Catherine, with her family to get a large-print Bible and books for the children, decided to 'take serious things make joke' when she finally reached the ship's entrance after nearly two hours in line and was told she had to wait because it was too full.

"Just when me think me a come outa the sun and go inna AC now, a good thing me black and can take the sun! By me reach home, me no have no use to meself," she joked.

Once inside, patrons were greeted with another set of lines. The first one led to a lifeboat inside the ship, which seated 100 persons at a time. There, patrons spent about 10 minutes watching a video about the vessel, its crew of 400 volunteers, and their mission of spreading hope, help and knowledge.




Next, patrons were ushered to the actual book fair, which was jam-packed with persons perusing the over 5,000 book titles available.

When it was time to purchase the books, patrons had to join another line, which curved around the room and took about 30 minutes to get to the cashier.

The shortest lines were at the cafe, where patrons had a selection of treats, including cakes and popcorn. To ensure that no one left empty-handed, everyone got to select three books from a free section before exiting the ship.

The ship's media relations officer, Annika Lee, told THE STAR that since the ship docked in Kingston on May 12, some 108,690 visitors had boarded the vessel.

The next stop is Montego Bay, St James, where the vessel will be docked from June 15 to July 2.

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