Playing Librarian

I spent Friday afternoon playing librarian at the Assisted Living / Home for the Aged where I volunteer.    It is such fun!

One of the local town libraries donates their discarded large print books to us and that means that someone gets to cull the stock already there and place the new books onto the shelves.

And that volunteer is me.    🙂

It is tough to choose the books to remove.    It is also hard not to look at each and every one but who has time for that?   I wish we had an inkling which books were most ‘checked out’ but we don’t – it’s an honor system.    Just borrow and enjoy and return it when you can.    So we don’t have a system to know if romances are what the residents enjoy most?   or biographies?   or who are the favorite authors?

The first step yesterday was to find any books that are not large print.    I was actually shocked that we found so many!     I piled these into boxes and moved them to the basement.  Eventually I will put this in my truck and donate them.

Some of these books come home with me, too.    I chose a Nadine Gordimer (A Sport of Nature), The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks, a bio of Catherine the Great, and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

I still have a lot of hours to donate to get them all into alphabetical order, but I’m really enjoying my work and sharing my love of books with the residents.


Weekly Geeks Spotlight on Haiti

The Weekly Geeks Meme Theme for the third week of 2010 is to focus on the country of Haiti.

I’m choosing to share a favorite book by a favorite author:    Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.


A documentation of the life of Paul Farmer, “a man who would cure the world”.

Tracy Kidder follows Paul Farmer around the world and back trying to understand the strange man who never gave up on his adolescent ideals and never grew up. Through interviews and shared struggles, Kidder starts to understand the complex and brilliant man just as you, the reader starts understanding and sympathizing him as well.

When Paul Farmer was just a student and visited Haiti, he found his life calling there. He traveled sporadically back and forth from Harvard to Haiti to attain his degree but his heart and mind never left. Till this day Paul Farmer keeps his home in Haiti, refusing to give sub-par care to anyone who comes knocking at his door while other doctors keep telling him that it is not “economic” to be giving first class care and medicine to people in poor countries who need it the most.

A heartwarming story of struggle against the odds and the preservation of a single man who would give everything up for the sake of others in need. -Dominic Chu

This book also gives the reader an appreciation for the work of Partners in Health, the organization that Dr. Farmer and others started to fund and deliver healthcare not only to Haiti but around the globe.

I recommend this book, this author, and PIH.

The title comes from a Haitian proverb, which is usually translated as: “Beyond the mountains, more mountains.” per an interview of Kidder.