It's a Mighty Fine Book Swap
It’s Mighty Fine, it’s a book swap, and it’s back with a gleaming new paint job thanks to the Indooroopilly Men’s Shed.
By Susan Prior
If you drive south over the Walter Taylor Bridge from Indooroopilly, you may well have gone past a house on Honour Avenue with a cupboard outside full of books, and maybe you wondered what it was and what it was doing there.
It belongs to me, Secret Brisbane writer and editor Susan Prior. It’s my Mighty Fine Book Swap. And it costs nothing to take a book.
It has been loved to pieces for well over three years and was looking a little tired and weather beaten; although, it has never been vandalised as some naysayers told me it would when I first wheeled it out. I prefer to have faith that my fellow humans will do the right thing. And my faith has been totally justified.
I mentioned the fact that it was looking a bit dilapidated to a lovely guy called Cec Chardon, an active member of the Indooroopilly Men’s Shed. Cec leapt into action, put out the word, and before I knew it a posse arrived from the Shed to inspect the book swap. And to offer advice on what I could do to restore it to its former greatness.
Before I could say ‘Mighty Fine’ they’d whisked it into the back of their four-wheel drive and taken it away for an overhaul.
Above: The Indooroopilly Men's Shed in action.
I confess to feeling a little lost with it no longer in situ. But, like an understanding baby sitter, Cec sent me texts and photos of their progress. These guys are clearly professionals!
This afternoon, after a few weeks of administering some serious TLC, they rocked up with my new you-beaut book swap, looking all shiny and new. Sporting a brand-new slick of paint, it’s been strengthened and made even more water tight. I was able to dust off the books that had been sitting in a forlorn heap by my back door, and wheel them around to the front in a barrow.
I hadn’t even popped the last one in when my first customer pulled over to come and grab something to read!
The idea of a book swap, or a little library, was inspired by a US movement to set up free boxes of books in suburbs and towns. Now they are cropping up all over the world. In the United Kingdom, many villages are converting unused telephone boxes to this purpose. In other places, bus shelters have had shelves added that are then stocked with books!
With all the renovations, the book swap no longer has its name painted on it. If there is a clever, artistic person who feels like daubing ‘The Mighty Fine Book Swap’ on it, then message me. My artistic talents don’t stretch that far!
If you are going past, feel free to stop and help yourself to a book. You can’t miss it – it’s a green cupboard half way between the Chelmer and Graceville train stations on Honour Avenue. Readers are asked to either return the book they borrowed when they have finished, or to donate a book, or books. I try and keep the books in there to fiction, memoir and the like. So no old street maps, please. And no Business Management 101!
Since I installed the book swap all kinds of interesting people have stopped to chat. It has been a great way to meet my neighbours.
Mighty Fine Book Swap users can borrow with no fees, no paperwork and no overdue fines!
Please enjoy it and use the facility responsibly and sensibly.