All aboard the Book Train
BY JULIA WADE
Inspired by the kindness seen in her new home town, a local woman’s idea to bring a different option for book lovers can now be categorised as a creative work of non-fiction thanks to some helping hands.
Based on the philosophy ‘take what you want, leave what you don’t’, a different kind of library titled ‘Book Train’ has opened a new chapter on how Mangawhai readers can indulge in a good read.
Instigated by two local women, Ivka Radvanska and Libby Clews, ‘Book Train’ opened on June 4 in one of the Pioneer Village’s historical buildings, another former haven of books since 1928, the Old Library Hall.
Donated books are free to travel around the community, passed from reader to reader as they are not required to be returned to the library’s shelves, Ivka says.
“It will be a walk in library, you can take any book and puzzle you like and also bring what you don't need any more for the donation basket.”
The idea for the Book Train first came to Ivka, who moved into the area last year, after scrolling through local facebook pages and spotting the promotion of Mangawhai’s new community food stand and was impressed by ‘people giving their goods for free’.
“Seeing people around here contributing to the community was amazing… and about the same time I saw some great ideas on the internet about book stands around the world which worked as a free library,” she says. “So I started to work with the idea in my head, and I said to myself if I have a chance I will talk about it with someone.”
Later that year Ivka met ‘a great woman’ – organiser of the community food stand and Mangawhai Helping Hands administrator Libby Clews – and the two women set up an online book swap which eventually evolved into the Train, ‘Libby’s great idea’.
Overseen by Mangawhai Helping Hands administration, the library will also have a display of historical books sourced from the Museum along one wall although they will be for eyes only.
“People have kindly donated a lot of books so we know it can be big,” Ivka says. “We promised Mangawhai a book stand, now we’ve found a great place and can't wait to share it with you!”
Book Train open every day 10am-4pm, Pioneer Village, Molesworth Drive.
Co-ordinators Ivka Radvanska and Libby Clews, with 7-month-old daughter Carolann, among loaded shelves of books for all age groups. Original 8x10 prints of the historical Book Train building by local photographer Josie Gritten, are also for sale to help with rental costs. Price: $30. To view and purchase, contact Libby through Mangawhai's Helping Hands facebook messenger.