When my kids were young, we lived in Guinea, West Africa, in towns full of heat and red dust, mangoes and peanuts, roaming goats and heavily-loaded bicycles…but no library. No TV either, eating up the hours. Plenty of time to enjoy books…but no where to get them other than ourselves.
Knowing this, I had been busy for a couple of years accumulating books at library sales and garage sales, scarfing up box-loads at 25 cents a pop, which were then packed in barrels, loaded onto a container, shipped across the ocean, retrieved from port, loaded onto a great, hulking lorry, and trundled up atrociously bad roads and over bridge-less rivers…to our little house, where our children greeted them with shining eyes. Even with the stacks and stacks we brought, my voracious-reading firstborn would read the same chapter book over and over, 6 and 7 and 8 times, because there was nothing else to read. It didn’t do her any harm.
When we visited the U.S., and walked into the library here, it was overwhelming to be able to choose from all those books, and take as many as we could carry home, for free…and then cart them back a couple weeks later and get a whole new bunch. I think I have never since walked away from the library with my totebag bulging, without feeling profoundly thankful for our library system.
All that to say…
…I am happy to be currently hosting what I hope will be the first of many Orange Marmalade Book Showers. Some delightful young friends of ours and their two small-but-hungry boys are heading over to the same town in Guinea where we once lived, and hoping likewise to ship a brave load of books for themselves and other children they meet. A tab at the top of my blog leads their friends and family to a page with their wish-list of books. I am hoping they receive a great big pile of book goodness in the next month!
Meanwhile, I would love to make this blog a place where book connections can be made for others like my friends. If you’re interested in throwing a book shower for…a young family living in an area of the world with no library…a struggling school for under-served children…the children’s ward of a hospital or clinic…a tutoring program or ESL program…or another book-thirsty spot, I’d love to help make that happen. Contact me via the comment button, and let’s dream together about showering children with books!