How to be a Reader Super Hero

Posted March 22nd, 2017 by in Discussions / 12 comments

On Monday the husband and I were running errands after being on a week long vacation in Arizona and California. I had a book to pick up from the library so on my way out the door I grabbed my library donation bag.

I’ve been purging my physical collection. We’re trying to de-clutter the house and my 5 jam packed bookshelves need to be downsized. As I’ve been updating my GoodReads shelves I’ve been setting aside physical copies of books I own in ebook format. Any books I don’t have a Kindle copy for gets added to a wish list on Amazon and shelved. This process has yielded 5 decent sized trips to the library donation bin. ARCs go to the reference desk so they don’t go into circulation by mistake. I only have a few ARC donations; mostly I donate hardcovers and paperbacks.

In all honesty, I thought that some of my donations were ending up in circulation and the rest would go to the library book sale. I was okay donating my books even if they were brand new copies being sold for $0.50 at the twice yearly sale. Every penny counts right? My trip to the library on Monday changed all of that and made me decide to share this story.

I put all of my donations into the bin and walked the sole ARC over to the reference department. It was a young adult ARC and the following conversation ensued:

Me: “I have an advanced reader copy for donation.”

Librarian: *looks at me, looks at book, eyes zoom back up to me, gasp of shock* “Are you my mystery YA donater?”

Me: “Maybe?” (Cause I don’t want to take someone else’s credit but I have been donating quite a bit lately.)

Librarian: “You ARE!”

Me: “Well I’ve been purging out my physical collection and if I have a Kindle copy, the physical copy comes to the library donation bin.”

Librarian: “I can’t tell you how excited I am to meet you! You are a much discussed topic here at the library. I always get excited because I can tell when you’ve been in. You’re like a book fairy! Our summer reading program is going to be so great this year because I’ve been able to put together like a romance basket, and a dystopian basket, and a fantasy basket with the gorgeous hardcovers you’ve donated. Most years its a writer’s basket with a journal from the dollar store. We’ve also used some of the other books as prizes for writing reviews and stuff. I am so glad that I get the chance to tell you how much your donations have meant to the Public Library and the teens! I just want you to know how much you are appreciated!”

I’m paraphrasing here but we had a good 5 minute discussion about this. At this point I am cheesing hard and blinking back tears.

I didn’t write this post to give myself a virtual pat on the back. I wrote this post because I had no idea how far the ripples of my donations went. I thought at the best I was adding to the collection and adding a few bucks to the coffers. It felt amazing to know that my donations were making the librarians at my local library so excited and that real people were benefiting!

I was toying with the idea of starting my Paperbackswap account back up but after seeing such an impact locally I’ve decided to keep giving back to the library. I am also hoping this post inspires you to help your local library in any way you can.



12 Responses to “How to be a Reader Super Hero”

  1. Berls

    This is so awesome!!! I feel like a total cheeseball right now, because I’m totally crying a bit 🙂 LOL! But seriously, I think it’s so important to donate to our local libraries however we can – I was one of those kids growing up who couldn’t afford books. So donations like yours would have been exciting for me as the kid who’d read EVERYTHING in the YA section and checking in with the librarian every time I came to find out if they had anything new. You should reach out to Felicia at to write a guest post about this during her September LIbrary Month Celebration – people need to hear how important the library is! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Berls recently posted: Hero in the Highlands #review
    • Stephanie

      Thanks! Cheeseball away because I know I did for the same reasons. My family wasn’t rich (we did alright) but there was no way we could have afforded my reading habits. The library was my sanctuary and I spent as much time as I was allowed there. I will email Felicia and see if she’d like to use this story. Libraries are so important and it upsets me how little people recognize that because they don’t personally benefit from it. 🙁

  2. Lover Of Romance

    oh I just LOVE this precious story you shared. I know how much libraries appreciate these donations. The library I LOVED in Utah, had the best selection but it was all due to donations. I remember how at first they just had General Fiction, Fantasy and Romance genres (and yes they organized books by genre….how cool is that) anyway they had this one donation, from a man who died and he had a huge library of mystery themed books enough to fill up 3 long aisles. And I remember how excited all the librarians were. I try to donate when I can, when I buy books that aren’t ones I want to keep on my shelves.

    Lover Of Romance recently posted: Movie Review-Beauty and the Beast
    • Stephanie

      Thank you! That is a seriously large mystery collection! Also who knows what readers would like most better than other readers? That is so cool that you had a library built from donations.

      I’m an odd duck and don’t re-read very much at all so I donate as soon as I’m done with it. If I ever want to read it again then I would buy the Kindle version. Very little makes it to the keeper shelf. 🙂

  3. Angie

    *applause* That is amazing!

    I’m an avid book donator as well, and I’ve noticed that most of mine end up on the for sale shelf and they disappear fast! My library doesn’t have a donation bin though, so they know it’s me. And the librarian on duty’s face always lights up when I come in with my papersack of books (or the last time several boxes and bags). 🙂

    • Stephanie

      Thank you! It felt amazing. 😀

      I feel now that I get knowing looks from the librarians. It’s kinda weird because nobody wants to say anything in case they are wrong. Lol! I’m getting another back ready to go. The decluttering is going well so the library should be happy on the next go round of donations. Personally I can’t wait!

    • Stephanie

      At this point I’m just glad to help out my library, if they go to the sales I’m cool with that. 🙂 Our library hosts a sale in the spring and the fall. Attendance is always high. They just started doing a thing on Thursday where if you pay $5 on Thursday night you get first crack at the selection. I thought that was a good way to make money and a good deal!

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