I’ve given this some thought, and decided it might break my heart to tell you the story of the little girl in Nova Scotia whose tragic early death has led to an unbelievable, exponential number of good deeds everywhere. So I will share a link to this article, stand aside while you read it, and let you be inspired to commit extraordinary acts of kindness, without any guidance from me whatsoever.
Now that we’ve all composed ourselves, let’s talk about a novel way to share book love. No Kleenex required. Thanks to this brand-new initiative in Red Deer, Alberta, small collections of free books are now circulating around the city via public transit routes. If you’re riding a bus with one of these on-board libraries, you’re encouraged to browse through the selection, grab anything you want at no charge, and take books away with you… or simply read while you ride. (Disclaimer: Red Deer officials are not responsible for missed bus stops due to engrossing bestsellers.)
It sounds similar to the Little Free Library concept I wrote about back in 2013. That was the movement that triggered a crop of cute little book houses all over North America (one came to my neighbourhood last year!), offering a range of titles free for the taking and the sharing.
Back in Red Deer, Books on the Bus will run for six months on a trial basis, maintained by volunteers. Book donations can be dropped off at any Red Deer public library. Fiction and non-fiction at all reading and age levels is happily accepted.
Just in case they’re looking for more ideas, I’ve come up with some themed classics. There’s The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck, The Lilac Bus by Maeve Binchy, Riding The Bus With My Sister by Rachel Simon… and that runaway bestseller, Practical Safety Inspection for Commercial Vehicles, published by the Ontario School Bus Association. We can’t wait for the next edition.