Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ever Wonder What 5,000 Books Looks Like?

Well, it's that time of year - tonight and tomorrow night, my city will once again break all records. It's a simple concept. Simple and brilliant. Simply brilliant.

You get people to donate books that they've already read. Books they no longer need and would like to get rid of so that they have space for more books. Books from people who have children who have grown and so they are moving to a smaller apartment. Books from people who love to read, can't fall asleep at night without reading (like me).

You collect them in a large room with many tables...sort of like this:

Then you sort them by genre, kids books placed in the middle, extra room between tables for people to move around.

Store empty boxes under the tables and sometimes, like last time and this time, you sort more books because even with 19 tables, you still don't have enough room...(even when you put them on the window ledges).

If you're really neurotic, you even create a "master map" so you remember last time what works and what doesn't.

And then, at the appointed hour (and not a minute before, even though you can hear there are dozens of people there waiting), you open the door and have people pour into the room.

And at the end of two nights, you try to remember to take a picture of what remains. You pack up what's left, recycle what won't sell ever...count the money and give it away to some amazing charities...

And you thank the amazing friend who thought of the idea, the amazing volunteers who picked up books from all over, the amazing people who donated - more than 70 families. You thank the people who sorted, the cashiers who collected money, and the ones who walked around and re-organized after books were picked through.

And after two days, you wonder if you can do it're so so tired. And you wonder if you could ever walk away from it...and you meet people in the street who tell you what an amazing event it was...and you think...

wow...just wow. What an amazing community I live in; what amazing concept. And most of all, you's May...and thank You, God...that the next one won't be until next November!

But that's what I'll think tomorrow night. For now, I'll sit with my feet up and rest and look forward to Round 1 tonight.

May it go well. May everyone find the books that will entertain them, inform them, enlighten them for the next six months. May God give each of the volunteers the strength to do this as we've done it 8 other times in the past and may we accept whatever amount we raise was the best we could have done...each time, we've beaten the last amount. I keep saying it can't friend Rivkah reminds me, "you say that every time."

For the last two times, if not more, I've been so overwhelmed by the generosity, the love, the ease with which we have found so many volunteers that I have, quite literally, had tears in my eyes. Each time, I say we have to be satisfied with what we raise and each time, satisfied doesn't come close to what we accomplish.

So, tonight at the Pnei Shmuel synagogue's Social Hall (a room that the community has generously given us for free for THREE nights), we will hold the first night - every book is 10 shekels...that's about 1/8th of what it costs brand new. Tomorrow night - every book is 1 shekel (that's...we'll...usually less than 1/90th of what the books cost new).

Join us for:
 The 9th Great Ma'ale Adumim English
Book Swap and Sale

All donated books will be on display by category. You can buy books for 10₪ each. 

All proceeds from this swap benefit Regavim which helps protect Israel's land from illegal use and local amutot in Ma'ale Adumim, including Keren Nevo and Keren Yishi.

Sunday evening, May 3, 2015
7:30-9:30 PM
Social Hall - Pnei Shmuel
"The Down Shul" Rechov Mitzpe Nevo 102
Egged Ta'avura bus #174

All remaining books available for 1₪
Monday evening, May 4, 2015
 7:00-8:30 PM
Social Hall - Pnei Shmuel
"The Down Shul" Rechov Mitzpe Nevo 102
Egged Ta'avura bus #174


May 3 and 4, 2015


Social Hall - Pnei Shmuel
"The Down Shul" Rechov Mitzpe Nevo 102
Egged Ta'avura Bus #174

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