Carol Jackson was at her local recycling depot 25 years ago, when, to her horror, she saw a bunch of books being crushed by a compactor.
“That offended me a lot,” the 71-year-old said.
In a move to save lots of others from that fate, she got permission from the depot to place a big shed on the centre, and fill it with discarded books to offer away to people visiting the depot.
Eventually, her collection grew so big she had to maneuver it to her garage.
“It was so fun organizing them and as I used to be doing it, people were coming down the driveway with their kids and so it became a way of life where I met friends,” Jackson said.
“It was really terrific.”
She’s been rescuing books in West Kelowna, B.C., ever since.
Jackson’s garage became a de facto used book store. Bookshelves and crates line the partitions and create aisles in the center. She arranges books by genre, creator and era.
She calls it her “adopt-a-book” program, and estimates she’s been able to offer away a whole lot of hundreds of books; every part from 100-year-old texts to romance novels to how-to guides.
“So this one is 1882,” she said as she opened up a dusty old book of poetry.
“You possibly can see how different the pages are and the lettering, the entire typeset. It might take you back to a different time.”
Her collection and interest within the shop has ebbed and flowed through the years, but recently it gained in popularity when a friend posted about it on Facebook marketplace.
“So many individuals got here, and it was so nice to check with them and to interact,” she said.
Kelowna resident Marina Ragimova, who works in film production, says she heard about Jackson’s garage from a colleague and visited her last summer to rent books for set design.
She says they’re featured within the Hallmark movie B & B Merry starring Jen Lilley and Jesse Cubby.
“When the show was done, I called her and I desired to see if she could be OK with us buying them off of her. She didn’t need to take any money,” said Ragimova.
“She just kept saying, ‘You already know what, just keep it. I’m glad those books have been used.”
‘Struck by her kindness and generosity’
When Ragimova visited Jackson a second time and mentioned wanting to get back to reading, Ragimova says Jackson helped pick books she would enjoy.
“I used to be standing there just awkwardly, holding this box, struck by her kindness and generosity. She was just so lovely,” she recalled.
She snapped photos of the books and the garage and posted them on Facebook Marketplace to inform others about Jackson.
Jackson says the enjoyment of meeting latest people and the delight she gets from when someone finds an interesting read makes the hassle she puts into her project worthwhile.
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