Just. One. Book. CRAZY HAPPY JOY!

So we are pretty much AT CAPACITY.  I think we need more bookcases than books now. What a great problem to have! You guys rock. I got some wonderful personal cards and messages that I opened today. Including a friend of mine, Jenny who sent me chocolate to eat while we open packages. Because BOOKS AND CHOCOLATE are an awesome combination.


I want you to know so many people in our community are revitalized by this effort. We have people volunteering an hour or two a day. A steady stream of kids. But then we also have the postal people cheering us on! The Evergreen Market is helping us by taking the cardboard to recycle. People are figuring out what they can donate when. Perhaps bookshelves. Time. Ideas for programming. It’s like a thousand ideas at once.

You know what was cute today? My kids are back from Wisconsin and are working the library with three of their friends today. They were opening boxes and stacking things so the adults could record what came in and from who where we could see it. The kids would stop every once in awhile , squeal out the name of a book and thumb through and another of them would remind them that we were here to work not read yet, and the kid would say “but I’m dying to read this one!” or “I didn’t even know this was a book!” Stuff like that. So adorable.

Of course they’re all tweens and they drove me nuts too.

So remember those shelves with only encyclopedias and biographies from the 50s?



You can’t tell from the photo but some of these are double rowed. So now begins our process of finding duplicates, of seeing if there was something teachers wanted that we overlooked. If you haven’t sent a box yet but were thinking of it, please hold off for now. We will have a great announcement in a few days for next steps.

THANK YOU  THANK YOU THANK YOU. This was successful beyond any of our imaginations.

This has been such a positive experience for all of us. In the midsts of so much divisiveness politically, in the midst of so much aggression and violence in our world–here is kindness. Here is generosity. Here is life anew. THANK YOU.


  1. Jennifer

    Well done Margaret!!! This is fantastic. It seems like it turned into an even more beautiful thing when the community and teens got invested. Fantastic idea and much needed!

  2. msg1926

    I was so excited to see a new post late at night/early morning. The photo of the kids says it all!
    I enlarged the picture thinking I could read titles on the shelves. Silly me! The first books I could read had the author’s name: Ayn Rand. Talk about good fortune. That was my mother’s favorite author and she and my father were huge readers. Their legacy was to have ten children who became readers who had children who became readers. We are reading to the great grandchildren now. I have tears when I look at your filled shelves of treasures, books waiting to meet their future customers. May much joy,comfort,curiosity, and wonder be nurtured in this library that community readers built all because an incredible need was raised by one woman to the world. Thank-you, Margaret, for all of your hard work and energy. Thank-you fellow readers for reaching out to fill a need in a beautiful town that we may never see but will always remember.

  3. Ruth Bowen

    Dang … I just saw your post and passed it on to the Borders group of former Borders Book store employees. I figured that if anyone had some extra books lying around it would be us! And as former booksellers, we know the importance of books, reading, expanding the mind and creativity. If you know of, or learn of other communities that are in the same situation that you all WERE in, please let me know. I had folks posting that they were getting boxes together for you (and I just posted the link this morning!) I’ll update my post but as I said, let me know and I’ll let them know. After all we have over 8700 members in our group ~ a lot of former booksellers. I know of one bookseller that became a teacher! See, our work goes hand in hand. (When we were open one of the things we did twice a year was Teacher Appreciation Week – a discount for teachers/school employees. Our way of saying thank you.)

  4. Nothy

    I sent a few books and I’ve told some professor friends too, just in case they want to send some. I feel like all of us out here in the blogosphere had a front row seat to this amazing event. And that we helped to make this happened feels great too.

  5. aakm4444

    Sounds like this will pour past the school right into the town library and beyond. We’re book-rich! I loved the reactions of the kids getting excited about the new arrivals and wanting to stop and read.

    That’s exactly what what we were hoping for.

  6. C.N Wolf

    That is wonderful news for you all! And now I’m kind of wishing I had seen this post before I’d shipped off two boxes this afternoon, full of goodies from my writing group.

  7. Onisha Ellis

    My theory is the divisiveness is more of a media hype than reality. We are still good people with hearts that are ready to help and shower love on people in need or hurting. I am thrilled with the success of Just.One.Book

  8. Tricia Campbell

    Please update now, I have many books and am ready to send them — and Ruth Bowen and the Borders People — oh my you could not have a better ally than them! So thrilled for you and so ready to send out books — where to now?

  9. Janet H

    How wonderful. Hopefully you will become a model for other school districts that need help with their libraries. I’m a volunteer at our local public library Friends of the Library organization. We take donations and sell them in our bookstore located right at the library. Books not sold within 8-12 months are pulled and boxed for our quarterly book sale (imagine a huge yard sale that’s all books/CDS/DVDs!). Money raised goes to fund special programs or purchase items needed items. It has been very successful. If you’d like info on how we organize all this, please private message me. I’d be happy to share more information. Congratulations on your success!

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