Catching readers by the tale

STOCKTON — The Little Free Library's weekend book giveaway was a big success.

The organization said it gave away about 32,000 books Friday and Saturday at the Intelligent Wireless Networks warehouse at the Port of Stockton. Individuals and members of various community groups looked through 500 boxes containing about 35,000 books. They were free to take as many books as they wanted.

By the end of the day Saturday, only 50 boxes remained.

"It's been incredible," said Nathan Werth, a Library and Literacy Foundation board member who helped organize the Big Free Library Giveaway. "I was thinking we would give away about half of the books, so this is a success beyond my wildest dreams."

Organizers planned to make 80,000 books available for the giveaway, but about 45,000 books could not be delivered, Werth said. Werth said the remaining books will be made available for another giveaway later this year, possibly around Christmastime.

"We had a great diversity of people come through here," Werth said. "We had individuals looking for books and we had community centers that are building their own libraries. We're really encouraged because one of our goals was to give to those small local libraries that are tucked away in places like churches and senior service centers."

The book giveaway was well received by members of the community.

"It's tremendous," said Pamela Reyes, a 47-year-old Stockton resident. "If they could have this even two or three times a year I think it would be so beneficial for the community because you should get books into the hands of everybody from the little ones all the way up to the seniors. New brooks are so expensive nowadays, and as you can see everyone was so generous in donating the books they have, so why not recycle and pass them on to the next person to enjoy?"

Pat Jannay, a 57-year-old Stockton resident, agreed.

"I think it's great," she said. "Libraries are great, but you have to remember to take them back and you can only keep them so long. I think it's great that they're trying to avoid putting these things in a landfill and getting people to use them."

—Contact reporter Jason Anderson at (209) 546-8279 or janderson@recordnet.com. Follow him at recordnet.com/crimeblog and on Twitter @Stockton911.


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