Posts Tagged ‘Book Fridge’

At the Book Fridge I met a man unloading cartons of books.  He was emptying a library, and had the complete works of Nevil Shute, all hard cover with a ribbon marker.  I saw a copy of “A Town Like Alice”, took that, then asked him if he had “On the Beach”, which he duly produced.

It’s a long time since I’ve been so engrossed in a book by a male author.  This may be partly due to memories of reading the book back in the 1960s.  Possibly I enjoyed his books as a teenager because he was Australian.  At that time there were few authors writing about this side of the world (I hadn’t yet learned of Jane Mander).  This week I devoured “On the Beach” within a few hours.  The story, set in 1963, deals with the aftermath of a nuclear war.  The northern hemisphere has been devastated, and radiation is inevitably creeping south.  The action, based around Melbourne, shows how different characters deal with their impending death.  Although some of the language is dated, e.g. women referred to as girls, the theme is highly topical, especially in light of recent actions by North Korea.  You know there is no chance anyone will survive, yet the tone of the book is not morbid, and the story is compelling.

There’s no publication date in this copy, which has original illustrations, but the first publication was in 1957.  As I read I had a strong memory of seeing the black and white 1959 film, especially the radio transmitter in Seattle.   This is a book which has aged well, and was a pleasure to meet again. I think I’ll find a place for it on my bookshelf rather than take it back to the fridge.  Now I’m wondering whether I could fit a nuclear holocaust into my short story exercise.

“No matter how well we’re resourced
we’d not escape a holocaust.”


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The Book Fridge has become my main source of reading since I left paid employment.  It’s free, there’s no limit on the time you keep a book, and there’s an ever-changing choice.

Books (Small)

I’ve enjoyed re-reading books by Joanna Trollope and Maeve Binchy.   Currently I’m savouring “Josephine and Harriet” by Betty Burton.  The writing has a refreshing naivete, and tells the story of two women in Victorian London, who lead very different lives.   It’s a mystery based on a true incident.

The Book Fridge has also provided me with a copy of “The Luminaries” which I’ve yet to tackle.  I believe Book Fridges are popping up in other places.  Is there one near you?

“It is a real privilege
to live so close to the Book Fridge.”


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A cockatoo riding on a man’s shoulder caught my eye.  The man was carrying several books so I guessed he was heading for the book fridge.  I grabbed my camera and followed him.  The cockatoo’s name is Chico, and they are local residents.

Chico considering what to read next

Chico considering what to read next


Chico #3 (Small)

Later Chico sat on my arm and chatted to me while her companion chose his books.  It’s always good to meet new neighbours!

“You never know just who you’ll meet
when walking down the local street.”

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In Auckland we saw a couple of places where people could swap books for free.  There was one at Devonport:

Devonport's Book Swap

Devonport’s Book Swap

and another at the Wynyard Quarter:

Book Swap @ Wynyard Quarter

Book Swap @ Wynyard Quarter

Close to home we have our very own ‘Think Differently Book Exchange’, commonly known as the Book Fridge.

Book Fridge

Book Fridge

This week I planned to add another book to the Fridge, then decided that I would register it on BookCrossing.com before I did.  I joined this online group in April 2008, but hadn’t released any books since April 2010.  I released ‘The Guest Cat’ on Sunday in the Book Fridge, and on Monday I was delighted to get a message that someone had caught it.   They said: Last night I went first time book hunting. The book fridge was full of books and I could not find at first this book. I already got sad that someone else took it or so, but then I found it in the very last corner of the book fridge I had not looked at yet.
‘The Guest Cat’ has wonderful reviews – I think it is going to be a great book to read. Thanks for releasing this book into the wild, Reading Ruth!”

I’m pleased that someone searched for and found the book I’d released.  I plan to register future books before I put them in the fridge.

“It’s great to share our books this way.
The fridge has dozens on display.”


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