Friday, July 26, 2013

Half-Price Books Rocks

Faithful readers are aware that the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden has been distributing children’s books to neighborhood kids in July.  There is no library within walking distance and no book mobile makes it to our neighborhood. I realized last summer when we tried to engage in some 4-H gardening activities that a lot of the kids couldn’t read – and certainly not at grade level.   As you know, we ran out of books after just a few weeks – particularly “chapter books.”  I made a plea for more books, and Cathy from Urban Connections found out, and told me last night, how we could obtain free books from Half-Price Books. 

This morning, I submitted an email request, but was told it might take 60 days.  That wouldn’t do because the kids had been pestering me since last week.  So, I called the Upper Arlington store to ask directly.  When I explained why I wanted their fax number, they told me that they already had children’s books packed up for me to pick up as soon as I showed up.  That’s what Cathy and I call God’s will.  I had tears in my eyes.

This afternoon I drove over to the store and Assistant Manager Liz packed up two boxes and two large grocery bags.  She would have given me twice as many, but there are only so many books the kids can read before school starts and there’s the issue of where to store them . . . . .  They took up my entire car trunk.  For those non-profits out there that need children’s books, Liz has more books to donate.

I told Cathy about our success as soon as I got home and she volunteered Urban Connections as a storage place for the extra books.  So, after they returned from a day at Alum Creek beach with the neighborhood kids and their Bible Camp volunteers, they helped me to unload the books.  Cathy then learned that Burt had already picked up three boxes of books from Half-Price Books.  So now we definitely seem to have enough.  I sorted the books (and we have lots and lots of Babysitter Club mysteries).  I picked the best books to keep in my car trunk for when I see the kids at the Garden.
Kenaya and Antoinette are seen here getting new books to read over the weekend.  After all, it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.

I could never work in a book store because I would spend all day reading instead of working.   As it was, I noticed they had a number of British books on Allotment Gardening – that’s the British version of community gardening.  In England, it has been legally required for each community to “allot” land for cultivation by the masses since 1908.  Allotments are critical to people who live in flats (aka apartments) because they would otherwise have no land on which to grow their own food.  Brits take their gardening almost as seriously as football (aka soccer).   The book is very interesting and discusses produce to grow, succession planting, etc.  I took about five copies for our gardeners. 

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