I stand by my claim that book people are, as a whole, the coolest people on the planet. This story of a bicycle library making its way around to serve books to the homeless is just one more point of proof.
Since 2011, Street Books has been pedaling around Portland, Oregon, once a week, delivering books to people who can’t check them out from the library. Yes, the public library is free, but to use the printer or check out a book, you often need things like a driver’s license or proof of residence or a utility bill. These are things that people living on the fringes of society do not have.
They even have a very short video on Vimeo which captures the spirit of what being a book lover is all about:
I love this quote:
“Because there’s a freedom that comes from kind conversations about books.”
The power of books and literature is often lauded by those of us fortunate to have plenty to read, but we often forget about the real world transformative power that books can have.
The books do get returned and exchanged for others, but if a homeless patron can’t find a bike library again, they are encouraged to just pass the book along to someone else who would like it.
It seems like every city in the world could benefit from people caring for others, through books, just like this. Kudos to the folks behind the bicycle library movement and Street Books.
The Friends Bookstore at the Central Library re-opened in a new location in April 2016. The library bookstore is now on the first floor now just to the left of the checkout desk, as you come in the main entrance. The big bright windows are fantastic to browse by (though I hope the spines don’t fade!).
I stopped by to check it out and found some great finds. You probably will too. Most everything in there runs between $.50-$3 range depending on if it’s a mass or trade paperback or hardback.
The library bookstore constantly runs sales and updates the community about recent donations. So I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter list.
Anyway, here are a few photos I snapped back in April when they first opened.
The Authors Conference kicks off the next day on Saturday, February 27th and will cost you $40 to get in the door for the day. The Saturday Authors Conference runs from 9a.m.-5p.m. During the day you’ll get to hear writing advice and stories from such notable authors as Natalie Baszile, Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin. Plus, Craig Johnson, Jamie Mason, Laura Lane McNeal and Mark Pryor. It’s a great mix of serious, fun and thriller books.
I have to admit that I was bummed when I saw that this year’s musical guest had to cancel. It’s a shame. She’s great. If you haven’t heard of Kellylee Evans before, you need to watch this video:
How catchy is that? You should also check out her Ordinary People. She has this jazzy blues 60’s pop groove that’s addictive. Maybe Kellylee Evans make it to Birmingham or Hoover someday.
So at 9 a.m. this Friday you can click through to the official site and buy online (the BUY NOW buttons are over in the right sidebar) or you can call (205) 444-7888. Good luck! Tickets to past Southern Voices events have gone fast.