by Jacqueline Dowling
Yes, OK, I know I’m always hacking on about our library; the way I see it is that Library = Books = Writers = Orders. Ergo, the more interest we generate in the contents of our shelves, the more scope there will be for writers.
Having got that out of the way, what must follow is a small trumpet blast. Not only were we voted 2nd in the Arts and Culture Award of Excellence last year, but we are the first library in the Western Cape to have Good Morning Mr Mandela on our shelves within days of release – in both English and Afrikaans. And that’s just for starters.
Friday last was Friends of the Library’s winter pancake day. Shock and horror echoed throughout the municipal offices when they heard that the excellent product would now cost R5. Well, there was a bit of a hooha but we held our ground , mixed batter for 300 pancakes and waited for the orders to come in. And they did. We took R1 000 in sales and there wasn’t a teaspoon of batter left at the end of service. ‘Upstairs’ managed to get over their miffs and ordered 108, the police popped over for a boxful and the public had difficulty getting past my table which screamed PANCAKES R5 in loud letters, right in the entrance. At one stage I thought I’d better ask for a strong-arm to guard the money box! So we’ve decided to go for a second round in July, hopefully on another cold, wet day. This time we’ll make batter for 500 and see what orders come in. So many ingredients are contributed by volunteers and well-wishers, that the balance after costs will buy at least five new books. Orders orders orders.
Talking of which, an English member arrived with a suitcase full of end of lines from Bungay Press in East Anglia, with their good wishes. Hemel en See Publishers, a local company donated a generous helping of their end of lines last week and, our lovely local bookshops hand on their publishers’ advance copies ‘not for sale’, Orders only. So I don’t really mind hacking on about a subject very close to my heart – books, words, writing, reading.
Later this year, maybe, our book of recipes of yesteryear, a bit of nostalgia, may see the light of day; because…a new member, a retired foodie journalist has shown interest in the project, which is very encouraging. All going well, we will raise more funds for books from the sales.
Lastly, also on the subject of Orders, although a bit remote from the library as it happens: the young designer of the McDonalds Fry Box artwork for the 2014 Soccer World Cup, is coming to live locally and is busy working on our next set of bookmarks .
Things are definitely looking up: next Friday is…pancake day and we’re making 500. Imagine, half a thousand pancakes, half a thousand spoons of cinnamon sugar, half a thousand lemon slices, half a thousand take-away containers. Half a thousand new books? Probably not, but who’s counting!