And a glorious day for giving away books it was. The shelves were built, the carts had arrived, and we even had a little cardboard sign. After working for months, and all weekend, my mom and my boys and I packed those shelves and carts full of the wonderful donated books we had received and brought the bookmobile into Occidental on a lovely Sunday afternoon. It was July 26th, 2009, and the sun was shining on the maiden voyage of the Sonoma County Free Bookmobile.
Just as soon as our doors were thrown open and our wares put on display a little crowd began to gather. The Weaver Boys’ anxiety was transmuted into excitement as we surveyed the scene. “Free?” was the most popular question of the day. “Free” was the eager response. “I’ve never seen anything free in America”, said one gentleman with a strong accent, likely of African descent. Ooops…where was my flag? And my national anthem? Oh well, next time. This fellow walked away with several hefty tomes and a slim Danielle Steele novel that he called his “favorite book ever”.
In a few hours time we had met local children, parents, seniors, and singles. All seemed to enjoy their browsing and no one left empty-handed. The statistics: we served 54 persons and gave away 186 books! We also had fun hearing a few tourists say they wished a free bookmobile was cruising their hometowns. Luckily enough, we had some little cards printed to help us stay in touch with those who want to donate toward our future. Which reminds me: we really need drop-off locations in Santa Rosa and somewhere in the northern part of the county. If you or someone you know can receive books from the public during business hours, we’d love to hear from you.
Don’t forget to check out pictures of the inaugural event via our photos page. The best part of the day is easy for me to remember. As one elderly man stepped off the sidewalk to join our party he asked “Why are they free?” I didn’t need my mind for this one, and said simply, “Because we love you”.