Take part in a literary treasure hunt with Books in Woodbridge

Justine McGlone is the face behind the project Books In Woodbridge. PICTURE: Justine McGlone

Justine McGlone is the face behind the project Books In Woodbridge. PICTURE: Justine McGlone - Credit: Archant

Woodbridge resident Justine McGlone is hiding ‘Books in Woodbridge’ for locals to find. Have you found one yet?

Have you found one of the many books hiding in Woodbridge yet? PICTURE: Justine McGlone

Have you found one of the many books hiding in Woodbridge yet? PICTURE: Justine McGlone - Credit: Archant

When you’ve finished reading a book, what do you do with it? Does it sit proudly on a book shelf, ready to be picked up again, or does it disappear into an abyss, never to be seen again?

Inspired by the noble and benevolent projects ‘Books on the Underground’ and ‘Books on the Subway’, Woodbridge resident Justine McGlone has launched ‘Books in Woodbridge’. With the aim of encouraging people, particularly children, to pick up a book, read it and pass it on, the project is a way for Justine to give something back to the community.

“I saw what [actress] Emma Watson had done, hiding books on the London underground and thought what a great idea that was. That’s how I discovered Books on the Underground and Books on the Subway. This idea is very much inspired by those projects,” says Justine. “I think it’s a clever way of getting people to read a book they might never have picked up otherwise.

After starting up a book blog, Justine was going to work on Books in Woodbridge as a side project.

Books are hidden in various locations around the town. PICTURE: Justine McGlone

Books are hidden in various locations around the town. PICTURE: Justine McGlone - Credit: Archant

“I didn’t want it to be a standard blog full of book reviews and I kept thinking about what I could do differently. The idea then turned into a project about giving back and sharing with people something that I feel is really important. I have always loved books and I have never been without them,” she adds.

“I want everyone to have access to books, so I’ve taken it upon myself to become the fairy book mother of Woodbridge.”

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In the last two weeks, Justine has been wrapping up books in handmade wrapping paper and finishing the ‘present’ with a little tag, giving a brief description of the type of book inside and the age range it appeals to.

Currently, Justine is mainly using books from her own library for the project with a few donations from friends, but is hoping that soon others will be interesting in donating books too.

Could you donate any old, unwanted books to the project? PICTURE: Justine McGlone

Could you donate any old, unwanted books to the project? PICTURE: Justine McGlone - Credit: Archant

“I’ve raided through all my books and taken out all the ones that I am able to part with. I have also had several very generous, wonderful friends give me books to use for the project too.

“Ideally, I would love for this to be a long term project. In the future, I am hoping to be able to approach businesses or publishing companies. I’d love to have a mix of old and new books.”

The wrapped books are then secretly placed in various places around the town for people to find. So far, they’ve been hidden in shops, the park, cafes, the cinema and church hall, to name just a few.

Plenty of the books hidden in the last couple of weeks have already been found, putting a smile on the faces of avid readers, both old and young. So far, the response to Justine’s project has been very positive.

“I’m actually quite overwhelmed at the positive response Books in Woodbridge has received. The people that I am aware of who have found a book have all thought it’s a wonderful thing to be doing. They’re excited to read the book and then pass it on to someone else.”

So what should you do if you find a book in the town?

“People should Instagram it and use the hashtag #booksinwoodbridge, or they can tag my handle @theeclecticexpat. I’m always checking the tags to see if any have been found,” Justine continues. “There is also a Facebook group for Books in Woodbridge, where they can post their photo to.

“After this, they should unwrap the book and read it. When they have finished, they should then wrap it back up and pass it on to someone else. The idea is to just keep these books going around.”

Find out more about the project here.

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