The Big Book Sale is Back

Blog The Big Book Sale is Back

The Calgary Reads Big Book Sale is Back May 6-16

Sale returns after a two year hiatus, allowing thousands of Calgarians to discover pre-loved books and help children become joyful, confident readers

CALGARY, AB— In just a few weeks, Calgarians will have the chance to shop more than 150,000 gently used books at one of the city’s most beloved events: The Calgary Reads Big Book Sale. Now in its 18th year, many sale-goers eagerly anticipate the chance to stock up on everything from children’s books and mysteries to bestselling novels and popular self-help books. Not everyone knows that the Big Book Sale raises critical funds to help children learn to read, something that’s more important than ever. After a two-year hiatus from the sale as we know it, readers and volunteers alike can’t wait for the Big Book Sale to return.

“We’re overjoyed to have that renewed enthusiasm from the community about the return of the sale,” says Shirley McIntyre, Big Book Sale committee co-chair. “This year’s Big Book Sale really will be bigger and better than ever, and that means we’re counting on more volunteers, more book donations and more book sale-goers.”

Where the Big Book Sale was once a single weekend  shopping frenzy, the 2022 sale has been extended to 11 days of leisurely shopping at the Calgary Curling Club from May 6-16. The floor plan has been expanded to make room for shoppers to browse comfortably. Calgary Reads is also making it easier for Calgarians to donate their books by offering three different Stuff -a-Truck-with-Books events across the city. And, of course, none of this is possible without our nearly 1,200 volunteers!

“We have some incredible volunteers, many of whom have been with us more than 10 years,” says McIntyre. “There’s something special about the energy of our sale and the enthusiasm of all these readers. We’re very lucky.”

In 2019, thanks to the generosity of Calgarians and 1,100 amazing volunteers, the Big Book Sale team collected, sorted, set up, and sold more than 100,000 books. Best of all, $362,000 was raised to support children’s literacy. Calgary Reads brings children all the reading essentials they need to thrive: their very own books, strong reading role models and fun, safe reading places in the community and at Little Red Reading House. The Calgary Reads Big Book Sale is the major fundraiser that fuels this important work and the Book Bank.

“We’re a tiny non-profit facing this big task of helping children learn how to read by Grade 3 with the added challenge of a pandemic and so much learning loss,” says Steacy Pinney, CEO, Calgary Reads. “We’re thrilled and thankful to be hosting this special and important community event once again, and to have the financial support of the sale so we can ensure more children get the help they need.”

The Big Book Sale wouldn’t be successful or even possible without thousands and thousands of book donations. Ahead of the sale, donations will be accepted at the Calgary Curling Club and at a trio of Stuff-a-Truck-with-Books events, including the Sunday, April 24th event being hosted by Jayman BUILT, proud supporter and sponsor of both the Big Book Sale and Little Red Reading House, at their Calgary office.

“Jayman BUILT is proud to be a family company and we know how formative reading can be for young children and young families,” says Jay Westman, Chairman and CEO of Jayman BUILT. “I would like to encourage all Calgarians to stop by our office on Sunday, April 24th to donate gently used books as we work alongside Calgary Reads to give all children in Calgary the tools they need to grow and foster a lifelong love of reading.”

In 2020-21, despite not having a Big Book Sale, Calgary Reads brought 55,573 books to children furthest from opportunity via the Book Bank at Little Red Reading House in Inglewood and the Little Red Reading Van that travels to local agencies serving Calgary families. Since Calgary Reads began 20 years ago, it has supported one-to-one reading volunteers reading aloud with children for 21.6 million minutes. The longevity of Calgary Reads and its impact is due, in part, to the Big Book Sale, which began in 2002 after a call with CBC Calgary.

Shop the sale

The Calgary Reads Big Book Sale runs May 6-16 at the Calgary Curling Club, 720 3rd Street NW. Learn more about hours, event fees, special sale days and booking an appointment to shop May 6 and 7 at

Donate gently used books:

  • April 22 – May 1 from 9am – 8pm weekdays & 9am – 5pm weekends, Calgary Curling Club
  • Sat, April 23 from 10am – 2:30pm at Rundle College, 7375-17th Avenue SW
  • Sun, April 24 from 10am – 2:30pm at Jayman BUILT, 3132-118th Avenue SE
  • Sat, April 30 from 10am – 2:30 pm at Melcor YMCA, 8100 John Laurie Blvd. NW

Learn more and get a list of books that cannot be accepted at

With the help of a passionate community and many volunteers, Calgary Reads equips communities with the books, knowledge and inspiration they need to support every child reading by Grade 3. Since 2000, we’ve led a variety of initiatives to enhance the reading lives of children and families, including our Book Bank, Little Red Reading House, wee read, LENA Start, a program that supports parent-infant interaction to improve literacy outcomes, and many more. Learn more about our movement at

For more information, media can contact:
Natalie Appleton
Communications Lead, Calgary Reads

Photos – Big Book Sale media library
Media Event – Stay tuned for details about a Big Book Sale Media Event May 5