Photo: Josie Armitage

Bramley Look for a Book: find and read a free book to improve your mental health

7 October 2019

Books for children and adults have been appearing in all areas of Bramley, thanks to a new initiative, writes Josie Armitage. 

Bramley Look for a Book is a creative way for children and adults to enjoy books donated by Bramley residents who want others to enjoy the books they have read.

The activity was set up in August by Dawn Fletcher, a Bramley resident who works the twilight shift in Tesco so she can spend quality time with her children. 

Keep your eyes open in Bramley – there’s no telling what you’ll find! Photo courtesy of Bramley Look for a Book Facebook page

The Facebook group she set up is growing rapidly, with almost 800 members who are celebrating their finds and the enjoyment they and their children are having reading books together. 

They are also having fun re-hiding the books for others to find.  Dawn has hidden around 500 books so far although her partner estimates it is nearer 800!

Dawn set up the activity after seeing a news article about similar activity set up by a teacher in Lincolnshire.  She said:

“Bramley could do with something like this to help bring the community closer. You hear a lot about mental health. Reading is something so simple and helps to block out the real world and rest your mind properly.  Let’s all read a bit more.  Our activity also helps with recycling used books.”

Bramley Look for a Book provides books for both children and adults. Dawn added:

“Other groups focus on children’s books. Why should children have all the fun? 

“Adults don’t read as much as they used to.  Let’s get the books that we’ve read and are sat on our shelves and get them back out there for other people to read. 

“To make it a nice thing or a treat for adults, I put coffee/tea and a biscuit with the book.  Adults can make this a ‘me time’,  open their new book with a cup of coffee and a biscuit and get the chance to read a book. “

Bramley residents are invited to join the Facebook group so they can share the joy of finding and reading books.  Dawn asks that when people find the books, they post their finds with a photo on the Facebook page for all to share.

Dawn would like others to get involved in collecting donated books and hiding them.  People are asked to put the books in a zip lock bag to protect against the weather and add a note to invite people to take the book, enjoy reading it and re-hide once they have finished. 

Lucky Faith Green with one of her finds. Photo: Fiona Green

Other residents like Fiona Green and her seven-year-old daughter have started to do this.  They started to find books and enjoyed reading them together. Fiona now helps Dawn with collecting donations of books and has started hiding them herself with her daughter.

Fiona said:

“We’ve just been shopping in Tesco.  While out Faith found quite a few books.  We left most of them.  Faith picked two up – one for each of us to read. She’s had fun.  Faith loves hiding the books.  We normally get out twice a week with them to different areas of Bramley.”

Park Spring Primary are taking part in Bramley Look for a Book with the children to bag up and hide books that they do not use any more.  They have donated over 160 books which the children are starting to hide in the local area for children to find and share at home before re-hiding.

From time to time, Dawn needs to raise money so she can keep the activity going and buy extras to put in the bags with all the books. Dawn said:

“In the adult books I like to put coffee/tea with biscuits. For the children’s books I like to include a soft toy (donated by our fabulous members) and a hot chocolate so that the book can maybe be read at Bedtime as part of a routine with the hot chocolate treat. I

“n order to be able to provide these “Special books” we need help to cover the cost as buying these items, the bags and the ink and reams of paper gets quite expensive. “

The current fundraiser can be found here.

Dawn is encouraging other areas to set up their own Look for a Book so their communities can enjoy the fun.

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