READ a good book lately? Want to share it with someone?
Written a good book lately? Want to spread it around?
Thought about giving it away so other people can enjoy reading it?
Passing books on gratis is a long standing and underrated tradition.
I’ve read thousands of books in my lifetime but my bookshelves only house a few hundred favourites.
Most of what I read nowadays, unless it’s spectacularly good, ends up in our local Red Cross opportunity shop, sometimes via a few odd relatives and friends.
I buy books there too, obviously donated by like-minded people. The quality is quite amazing and they actually arrange the books in handy alphabetical order.
There was a craze a few years ago for leaving read books on park benches, in coffee shops or at other drop spots in the hope that deserving readers would pick them up.
I can think of numerous reasons why that idea eventually fizzled.
Books are meant to be spread around, despite what the stingy people who hoard them without ever looking at them again might think.
Which brings me to the point of this article.
As you are no doubt aware, the Simbu Writers’ Association is making great strides in promoting literature in the highlands province. SWA is not only a writers’ union but an active promulgator of literature, especially through its schools program.
In modern jargon, SWA is proactive.
I’ve been sending the odd book up to Francis Nii: my own stuff and some by other writers. It’s pretty hit-and-miss and some of the books disappear into the bottomless maw of the PNG postal system never to surface again.
However, Francis told me yesterday that a copy of Baka Bina’s new book, Man of Calibre, that I sent up had just arrived. It took over a month but finally made it.
Just recently Michael Dom sent up 30 copies of his latest book of poetry, TheMusing of an Assistant Pig Keeper, which will go towards the awards that the SWA offers in its annual high school literary competition.
I’m taking liberties here but I reckon SWA might appreciate books from other people, especially PNG writers but also Australian writers and readers.
So if you’ve read or written a good book lately and want to pass it on to someone who will really appreciate it, why not put it in an envelope and post it to Kundiawa? It will cost you less than $10 in a plain envelope.
Francis is at Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital and its address is: PO Box 346, Kundiawa, Simbu Province 461, Papua New Guinea.
I’m sure SWA and the kids will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
But make sure you wrap it in Gladwrap before putting it in the envelope. The airlines in PNG have a nasty habit of leaving cargo out in the rain.
And send just one or two books at a time. Bulk shipments cost too much, attract GST and custom’s duty and invariably get offloaded for months on end.
I’m not talking about rubbish that no one else wants but books with real meat worth reading, mit buk hia tasol!