The free beach book nook, seriously cool!
Yesterday, because of last-minute cancellations, I had a 3-hour gap between student meetings. When one student canceled right before I left, on a whim, I threw my bathing suit into my bag. I was really glad I did because, before the hour was up, another student sms’d that they couldn’t make it. I headed to the beach in that nice gap I had and was so glad I did. For one thing, I discovered the free beach book nook.
The city of Tel Aviv has put a big two-sided cart loaded with books of all sorts at our most popular family beach (close to the port with picnic areas, playscapes on the beach for really little kids, another for older kids, etc). A big sign on the cart invites beachgoers to select a book to read while enjoying the sun and the surf. There are big selections in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, organized for the adults by signs indicating both language and book category (fiction, biography etc), and a smaller selection of works in French, German, Spanish and Italian. The books for children are all organized by language (English books, Hebrew books, and Arabic).
The sign invites you to take a book for free and return it if you’ve finished it or take it home and just keep reading and return it when you’ve finished. They promise to rotate selections every week. There were clusters of families ready to go home who were returning books, others who were browsing. I selected a mystery that was amazingly good, in English but by a Norwegian author. I took it home (couldn’t put it down!) but am bringing it back today, having finished it in the early hours of the morning. I’m bringing along another 12 of my fiction books to donate to the cause –as many as I can carry with all the other things I need to drag along today.
In addition to having the life-verifying dip in the sea, it was soul-rejuvenating to see how many families and individuals were enjoying the book nook –and bringing that enjoyment back for others. This is not a small thing, as books are very expensive here, and all the books on offer were in pristine condition. I’m donating hardbacks to the cause that are in ‘as new’ condition.