As The Book Nook, my little bookshop and tea room in Ware, Hertfordshire, is temporarily closed and I have rows and rows of books just sitting on the shelves, I had the idea for people to buy a gift wrapped book and a small treat (teabags/ chocolates/or (if I can post it!) a slice of my mum's homemade cake) for some of my most vulnerable customers.
These are scary times and now we need books more than ever.
Book can be friends, offering comfort and escapism during tough times in our lives.
I have lots of regular customers who will be incredibly lonely and a bit low at the moment with self isolation.The Book Nook has become a warm, comfortable and safe space for the local community since I opened in April last year. I try and make the shop a welcoming, quiet space that many people just pop into the shop for a chat or a cup of tea, even if they can't afford or want to buy a book.
Some of the customers that I would like people to buy a book for include:
Elderly people who are living alone
People with mental health conditions
People with learning disablities/autism (including members from my Space Bookgroup!People on a low income who wouldn't usually be able to afford to buy a book for either themselves or their family members
Children and young people who don't tend to have books in their home.
Having had mental health problems since I was a teenager, I strongly believe in Bibliotherapy (The OED definition is "The use of books as therapy in the treatment of mental or psychological disorders.")
Books have seen me through anxiety, depression and hopelessness (my go to book if the black dog of depression rears it ugly head, is Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig or for something lighter Dear Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce.
You can buy a stranger a book here and I will then use the money you kindly donated to givea book to someone who, for whatever reason, can't buy a book themselves, can't afford it or don't have access to the internet to buy online.
If you want your donation to be anonymous, please let me know or if you want to be tagged on Twitter, Facebook/ Instagram when I offer your book suggestion or your donation for a book, just add your twitter/facebook/Instagram in the message or tweet and I'll acknowledge you kind gift/suggestion.
I'm suggesting a few donation amounts, or if you would like to give whatever you can afford I will put it towards buying a copy of the #feelgoodbooks book that you suggest on my bookshop pages:
You can #buyastrangerabook a paperback book for the suggested donation of £10 (the average price of a paperback with postage
You can #buyastrangerabook a Hardback Book for £15 (the average price of a hardback book with postage
Or you can buy as many books for others as you like!
We'd also like your suggestions as to which books to give away, using the #feelgoodbook that you think would help people through this difficult time. My choice is The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, which I will be giving away a copy of to the person who is the first to #buyabookforastranger.
Thank you for reading. Stay safe and Keep Calm and Carry on Reading :)