Hidden books delight

Beaudesert branch librarian Paula Leigh with local volunteer Liz Avery.
Beaudesert branch librarian Paula Leigh with local volunteer Liz Avery. Photo by Susie Cunningham.

Volunteers on a mission to make reading accessible to every child, teenager and young adult in Beaudesert are hiding free books around town as part of Scenic Rim Hidden Books.

The community-driven initiative, which is being supported by Beaudesert Library, is well underway and will continue indefinitely.

The idea came about after locals saw a story on the ABC about hidden books in the NSW town of Braidwood and were inspired to create Beaudesert’s own literary treasure hunt.

With the support and encouragement of Beaudesert branch librarian Paula Leigh, volunteers made up packs containing a book and flyer in a clear zip lock bag and got to work hiding them around Beaudesert.

They have hidden dozens so far, and the main aim is to get people interested in reading.

Nearly all of the books have been through community donations, with some old library books in the mix too.

Local volunteer, Liz Avery, said it was an initiative close to her heart.

“Kids love treasure hunts, don’t they? I think they get excited finding things they don’t expect, and I hope it will encourage them to actually read a book,” she said.

“I know as a child I was starved of books – I was always looking for books and I never had enough books. So, I’m quite passionate about spreading the idea of making books available to kids, overloading them if you like, and making them special.

“I think often kids are not excited to receive a book as a gift, but to find it in a tree, that makes it a bit special. I’ve been hiding them in parks, there’s the park at Littlewood and near the nursery, and if there are suitable trees on the street, I put them there and I’m thinking of putting them in the trees up near the hospital, because kids walk past every day.”

Donations of picture books, junior fiction and young adult books are welcome and can be dropped off at Beaudesert Library. Books can be second hand, as long as they are in good condition.

To keep up to date with the initiative, visit Friends of Beaudesert Library on Facebook.

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About Susie Cunningham 0 Articles
Journalist telling the stories of where I live. I love living and working in Beaudesert and when I'm not working you'll see me walking the dogs with my husband Zac.