‘Take me home and read me!’

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IF YOU were walking about the town and came across a paperback book purposely placed somewhere it would not get wet with the words ‘Pick me up and take me home’ attached to the cover, would you not be intrigued?

An Inverkeilor lady is depending on human curiosity to spread the message that reading is good, and to share her books around the community.

Pam McDougall, a retired nurse, health visitor, midwife and relationship counsellor is hoping to engender a love of reading among Arbroathians by leaving books in prominent locations about the town.

She explained: “I was recently visiting my grandchildren in Derby and we went round the shops. We visited an ATM and I saw this paperback on the shelf.

“I thought to myself, someone has inadvertently left it there. Then I saw a notice on the front cover which said ‘Please take me home’. I was curious so I opened the book and read about this international system where, instead of throwing books away, you leave them somewhere public where some curious person like me would pick them up and possibly read them.

“Strangely enough, that very day, we picked up two books and my granddaughter picked up another. We were fascinated by the whole story.”

Mrs McDougall explained that when she got back to the house she went online and discovered that this was a proper setup to encourage people to read books that they otherwise perhaps would not show an interest in.

Full information can be found at www.bookcrossing.com.

The website says that bookcrossing is the world’s library. It’s a smart social networking site. It’s a celebration of literature and a place where books get new life. BookCrossing is the act of giving a book a unique identity so, as the book is passed from reader to reader, it can be tracked and thus connects its readers.

It reveals that there are currently 1,254,293 BookCrossers and 9,249,758 books travelling throughout 132 countries and concludes: “Our community is changing the world and touching lives one book at a time.”

Pam said: “I plan to continue with this. It just highlights the benefit of reading books that you would not normally read.

“These are books that I have had on my bookshelves that I know I have to pass on. I read a lot and my bookshelves are groaning under the strain. My husband is threatening to throw them out but he supports this project.”

She closed: “At the moment I have three books. One I have just left in a public place, and I have another two that I will do the same thing with.”