As brightly lit kindle screens continue to replace paper books at high speed, some good Samaritans feel the need to keep the magic of real books alive. One of them is Anne Walther, a Bachelor’s student of Molecular life sciences.
Photo: Sven Menschel
She started a book sharing group on Facebook. Over a cup of tea and in the company of her feline friends, Anne Walther talks about her passion and initiative.
What made you start?
‘I’ve always liked reading and have a lot of books. I’m German, so it would be normal for me to read in German, but I figured it’s nicer to buy books in English because then I can share them with housemates and friends. Last year, I decided to consciously start buying books only in English so that they are utilised better. Eventually, I started taking pictures of the books’ covers and putting them on Facebook with a short synopsis for my friends to choose from. My friends started reciprocating by putting up their collection. That’s how I figured that there would be more people in Wageningen who would be interested in borrowing and lending books.’
How does Booksharing Wageningen work?
‘Everyone is welcome to join the Facebook group. They can choose from the titles by messaging the person who posted it. It is not an exchange but it would be ideal if people shared and borrowed with the same enthusiasm.’
What kind of books can we expect to find?
‘I didn’t really take a stand on that because I felt like it’s a personal choice. Quality over quantity is my motto, so I’m open to books in various formats, genres, and languages. E-books are popular and easy to get but you don’t end up reading all of them.’
Are you worried about people mishandling or not returning your books?
‘I’m a very trustful person. In fact, some time back I forgot that I had lent a book to this one person. After he moved out, his housemates called me to say that he left behind a book of mine. That’s how nice and close-knit Wageningen’s student community is. However, I’ve started writing down names now. I ask the borrower to text me after they’re done reading. If I don’t hear from them within a month’s time I make it a point of following up. Over all, I’m very optimistic and I hope the group turns out to be a success.’
You can find Booksharing Wageningen on Facebook: facebook.com/groups/1007749189330529