For the Love of Books
If you take a stroll around The Gap or surrounds, you will no doubt come across the gorgeous phenomenon of the Street Library.
If you take a stroll around The Gap or surrounds, you will no doubt come across the gorgeous phenomenon of the Street Library! Our generous community members and neighbours are building little libraries where people can borrow and donate books. When searching the registered Street Libraries (www.streetlibrary.org.au), I came across 18 within a 5km radius of The Gap! Some local businesses such as Kahlo Coffee at the Ashgrove Golf Club, and Sonia Jones Travel on Wardell St, Ashgrove have also joined in.
So why are people putting these mini libraries outside their homes, stores, churches or kindies? One of these people is Toni Lucke. Her Warana Street Library (@waranastreetlibrary) is affixed to her fence and contains an assortment of contemporary and literary fiction. Toni started the library in March 2021 as a way of connecting with neighbours and sharing her love of reading. “When I read a good book, I want everyone to read it!”.
Another local little library owner is Jason de Souza. His library, located on Canterbury Place and constructed in January 2018 is quite unique and resembles a dog house. Originally it even had a dog head and tail and was aptly named “Canterbury Tails”. Jason says his family are “ferocious readers” who “consume a lot of books” and love to encourage reading – whether it’s borrowing library books or buying books. They started the library to be able to share with others. He says plenty of people drop off and borrow the books, and he regularly rotates them and cleans it out. He also swaps with other libraries around the suburb at times.
Jason also likes to encourage people to talk about books. Like me, he recently discovered a hidden gem in Scrumptious Reads on Arthur Terrace, Red Hill. They hold two monthly book clubs – one for foodies which includes meals from a cook book and often the Chef/Author themselves, and the other for lovers of fiction and non-fiction (alternated monthly). You can find more information on their website at www.scrumptiousreads.com.au or Instagram @scrumptiousreads
Another local group sharing their love of reading is BAGS (Book Appreciation Group). Not your typical book club, as they don’t choose one book to read, but each bring along current reads to discuss at a different members house every 6 weeks or so. One of the organisers Meg Kapitany, says the group are open to new members and people can message her on Facebook if interested.
Lastly, if you’re keen to know what books to look out for when you come across the street libraries, you should check out #Bookstagram on Instagram. Book fanatics from around the world post photos of books, chat about books, write reviews, and host group reads. If you love discussing books – it really is the place to be.