A frequently asked question these days as I walk around Gracepoint Berkeley church is, “Can adults check out books at Bibliopolis?” Another permutation is, “Can adults hang out in there and chill?” My answer to both is usually a version of, “Whatchutalkinboutwillis?” And while I can’t have open hours for adults to come in for story hour or silent reading with the kids, I have heard your cries and introduce Bibliopolis Adult Extension [insert crowd’s applause].
It resides in the “real” church library in Building A. For now, it’s super low-key, but my Biliophiluses and I will be working to make it an inviting space to encourage all of you adults to read! While I won’t be there to book talk a title, or help you find a book, the good news is that it is open all the time. Or any time the church building is open. There are some good fiction and non-fiction books on the bookcases along the wall on the right side when you first enter the library from the hallway. There are books for adults, as well as some of the young adult and children’s literature that have been mentioned on this blog. For example, there are a couple copies of Between Shades of Gray, one of Drive, Wonder, Charlotte’s Web, and even Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (the same version that Mrs. McNulty read to my class!).
This is an informal lending library. But the expectation is that you bring the books back. There is no time limit, but if it’s been a long time, and someone else wants that book, I reserve the right to contact you and request you bring it back. I think that’s only fair.
You do not need a library card to check out any of these books. You only need a first and last name. And an email address so that you can receive a friendly email notice from Gracepoint Church Library if you are uber* delinquent. All you have to do is fill out the form on a blue clipboard on one of the shelves. (In the picture above, it is on the second shelf from the top.)
That’s right. This is an honor system type of deal. In theory, you *could* take a book without filling out the form. But that’s on you and your conscience! Actually, the only books that are “new” are on the left bookcase. The rest have been there all this time, but maybe this post will encourage people to peruse the shelves, and pick up some of the classics.
Remember, all the “good stuff” we know about reading doesn’t only apply to kids but to “big kids” too! Reading…
- exercises our brains
- improves our concentration
- teaches us about human nature, and about the world around us
- helps us develop empathy
- improves our vocabulary and comprehension skills
- makes us better students (of the Bible!)
It’s only as we read widely and often that we get better at it. My aim is to provide you with books that lead to positive reading experiences, which will hopefully lead to a genuine love of reading, no matter what kind of negative experiences your personal reading history is sprinkled with!
To borrow the words of Rainer Maria Rilke, a little out of context: “You are not too old, and it is not too late!”
Becoming stronger readers overall will help us in the endeavor of prioritizing sitting before God’s word in order to hear from him, of learning to think as we dig into the Bible, and striving to become people of the Word!
Will you be using the Bibliopolis Adult Extension? What books would you like to see there? Do you think this is going to work? Do you know what song I was referencing in the caption above? Share your responses to the not-so-grand opening of Bibliopolis Adult Extension below!
*über is a prefix derived from German (meaning “over”) that is also used as an adjective to mean “over or beyond.” It’s not one of those made up words created by companies. Your mini-etymology lesson for today!