I’ve become part of something amazing! Of course it was totally unplanned and unexpected so it’s all the more wonderful.
I belong to a lovely group of readers on Facebook. We exchange tips on books, share photos of our reading spaces and chit-chat about anything book related. It’s a lovely, supportive group and it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling (and you can’t beat that).
It was last Friday that the amazing thing happened. One of our members posted a comment about how difficult it is to access books written in English in her country. She loves fiction and she loves physical books but just can’t get her hands on them. Most books that are available are written in Arabic and are educational – and, of course, censored.
It wasn’t a ‘feel sorry for me’ comment; it was simply a statement of longing, much like I might say: ‘I’d love to be eating a gelato while reading in the garden.’ Her post made me want to reach out to her, to share what I have. In England we are so fortunate: books are everywhere. I can choose to go to the library or spend time in my favourite bookstore. I can browse the books, borrow or buy. I give books as gifts, I attend author events and get them signed. I pretty much take books for granted and never give their accessibility a second thought. What if we didn’t have books? (And yes, I have a Kindle, too which is great for certain things – but you can’t beat the smell and feel of a book in your hands.)
Now, I have said that the Facebook group is lovely but what I didn’t expect is that so many of us want to help and how many of us have pledged to send a book or two! The flurry of activity over the weekend was amazing. There are so many of us wanting to help and to stop our friend from being bombarded by parcels, a rota has been put together and the first books are already on their way. Once received, our friend will let us know and the next person on the list will send theirs. I’m thirteenth on the list and can’t wait for my turn!
I’ve heard of charities that send books to other countries but this experience has got me thinking and I’d like to do more. Usually I give my books to charity shops – what do you do with yours?