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Posted by on Oct 28, 2011 in Indie Fixx book Club | 1 comment

Indie Fixx Book Club: Guerrilla Libraries

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indie fixx book club

Amy Foster from How to. Why Not? What the? helps to revive the Indie Fixx Book Club with her post about Guerrilla LibrariesGet in touch with me if you want to contribute to the Book Club by writing a post. xoxo – jen!


{image from Daily Mail} via PC Sweeney’s Blog. Bondi Beach Library

By guest contributor Amy Foster

I am so excited to be writing this post, Indie Fixx and Jen have given me—someone who has roamed and moved so much around the world—a sense of community.  I hope that this post triggers something for you dear reader, for this is my chance to share and to start the conversation, so I can sit back and listen in.

I love books.  Books in the library, on my Kindle, in second-hand shops, bargain bins, as presents, glossy or worn down (but never out), leather bound with tissue pages,  given and borrowed.  Books have been my closest friends and oldest companions.  Books and reading are one of my greatest biases, as L.M.Montgomery said “I am simply a book drunkard”.


{image by Nick Brandreth for WSJ} Guerrilla mini-library in Williamsburg.

I know many who fuss that the day of reading is ending.  That those of us who are bookworms are becoming few and far between is the mantra.   Literacy rates are abysmal and the pale horse of technology is riding forth. Ironically and sadly, I am drafting this post on the day that the world is responding to the death of Steve Jobs.

As an educator, I have been trained in all the up-to-date fear mongering techniques to do with literacy.  For example, did you know (hear my gossipy voice) that in the United States of America the amount of prison cells being built for tomorrow are based on the stats of grade two literacy rates.  That’s right, non or delayed readers become criminals, according to this train of thought.

Add to this bit of dismal tidings, the division within the book lover community to read the ‘right’ genres.  High brow, pop culture, glossy magazines, comics, graphic novels, old, new, e-books, self-published, Oprah’s book club, mom and pop book sellers and on and on…the words and feelings colliding and arguing amongst themselves.


{image via Decor8}

However in the spirit of portentious omens and serendipity (Halloween is on almost here), I refuse to be a defeatist.  I have come to embrace Guerrilla Libraries or the ‘community bookshelf’, despite the controversy that they are minimizing the function of the public library.  My awareness of the concept of Community Bookshelves began at Decor8.  Expounding the take a penny, leave a penny’ feel good gesture, but with books and enhancing a sense of community.  I started thinking how many of us have experienced these sort of community bookshelves or Guerrilla Libraries, if you will.

As a teenager, I spent some time in Ethiopia and devoured the entire library, three Reader’s Digest Select books.  I added to that little library two works by the Bronte sisters and several teen fashion magazines, I truly felt that I had done a good deed.  As an adult I have moved across the country with my husband’s job and have gone from landlocked to ocean dweller.  Experiencing pangs of culture shock yet again, I have been saved by another community bookshelf.  This time its form is a long cushioned bench in our apartment building where the residents take and leave the printed word.  Leaving a book or magazine, I wonder what the new owner will take from it.  But finding a new book gives me a unique thrill, this book may be meant especially for me.

So, have you ever found a book at just the right time?  Are you willing to leave a book for the fates to find it a new home?  Do you have a story of every day wonder to share?


{image from Kindness Girl} Guerilla goodness at the publc library.

About the contributor: Amy Foster is a childcare professional who teaches children and adults while encouraging the belief in everyday wonder. She currently resides in the small coastal province of Nova Scotia, Canada  and is a vegetarian, novice maker, explorer and writer.  She blogs at How to. Why Not? What the?, mostly about little local adventures and artists in her new province that is steeped in fog and set back in time.

1 Comment

  1. I donate books to the goodwill. My girls and I love to find new books.

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