The Neighbourhood bookshelf in front of 152 Irwin Street got all prettied up last week for its TV debut next week.
As pretty as it could get. Its first winter wasn’t great…a few face plants on the sidewalk, neighbours Heather and Harold performed CPR and did a bit of weatherproofing.
But even over the winter books moved constantly, from the quiet young man who discovered the joy of reading through murder mysteries to the whoops of delight when the right book met the right kid.
Many more books left the shelf than arrived. My freecycle buddies (3,000 in Nanaimo) helped fill the gap. By June, though, I was too busy to pick them up, and I figured it was time for the shelf to move on to the next stage…looking after itself.
First, I let the shelf sit empty, figuring people would “get” it. Nope. For almost 2 weeks, the sole book on the shelf was Richard Simmons’ autobiography. No one even wanted to level out a table leg with it…:(
Next bright idea: put up a sign and ask people to donate. While that did lead to someone leaving piles of pennies on the shelf, with a little re-wording, books started to trickle in…some directly onto the shelf, others mysteriously left in boxes at my door. From the neighbours, from freecyclers like Venus, George, Val, & Tara (to name a few), today there’s everything on the shelf from a recent best seller to……..Richard Simmons’ autobiography…:)
The Neighbourhood Bookshelf will be featured on Hidden Heroes on Shaw Cable Channel 4:
- from 6 PM Wed Sept 2 to 6 PM Thurs Sept 3
- from 6 PM Sat Sept 5 to 6 PM Monday Sept 7
The show is normally on during the first 15 minutes of the hour. Thanks to Bill Robinson from Hidden Heroes and Melissa Hall from Shaw TV, who made the interview a lot of fun!
~ Barbara Densmore
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