The Book Station: 5 Ways to Invest in Yourself and Our Community

1/31/2020 | Written by Meggan Cirrincione

While I didn’t make resolutions (only to break them) this year, I did start the year off with one of my favorite monthly adventures - browsing the Friends of the Library (FOL) book sale at The Book Station. The book sale is the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. The next sale is Saturday, February 1st!

Invest in Yourself: The Benefits of Books.

  • Book are time travel. Books are magic. Books are an investment in yourself.
  • They make you kinder and more empathetic. A 2013 study published in Science revealed that reading, especially literary fiction, makes people more empathetic. Stretching our minds to infer or ponder character motivations and their lives makes us kinder. (Chaiet, Julianne. “Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy.” Scientific American. October 4, 2013)
  • It is also good to be reminded of what we don’t know. The Big Think’s Kevin Dickinson breaks down the benefits of owning unread books explaining the work of statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb. “[Taleb] believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don't know.  . . . These selves of unexplored ideas propel us to continue reading, continue learning, and never be comfortable that we know enough.” Justification for buying more than you need.
  • Reading books makes us better. According to Sarah DiGiulio’s article on NBCNews.com, books teach us about ourselves and who we want to be. By reading we are connected and can have a sense of belonging. Reading improves our social skills, betters our brains, and may even be correlated with a longer lifespan.

Invest in your kiddos.

  • We know reading is a crucial part of childhood, but did you know that simply having a home library of 80 books or more, has profound positive impacts on our most important little people’s lives? 
  • According to a 2018 study published in Social Science Research journal, there is a remarkable positive correlation between growing up in a home with books and academic ability and job placement. Writing for Scholastic, Jodie Rodriguez notes, “The study shows literacy levels surging at 80 books. Being surrounded by lots and lots of books where they live helps children build vocabulary, increase awareness and comprehension, and expand horizons — all benefiting them in adulthood, according to the study. But beyond literacy, the study's authors found a correlation between homes full of books and both the ‘ability to use mathematical concepts in everyday life’ and ‘the ability to use digital technology to communicate with others.’ Books in the home make a difference beyond literacy.”
  • See number one for other lifelong benefits!

Can’t beat the deals. Invest.

If you must collect something, collect books! Here are the numbers from my latest Saturday loot:

  • 19 books 
  • 7 hardbacks @ $1 each
  • 3 in pretty much new condition, others gently used
  • Kids books 10 cents each
  • Estimated list Price: $230
  • Total Charge: $13.60
  • Decided to round it up and donate for a Total Spent: $14.00

Buyer beware - getting this good of a deal is addicting! If you are like me, it makes a great segway into cute and funky Pinterest refurb bookshelf projects. (See below.)

If you are not a collector, these also make great gifts. And, we mustn’t forget, our public library is always willing to let us borrow books for free!

Invest in our historic Carnegie Library.

Proceeds from the FOL monthly book sale have contributed to maintaining the library and The Book Station building and landscaping and have helped provide some sweet upgrades and opportunities at our public library. Dani Buehler, head librarian, shares a few: 

  • Sponsorship of the author at the Annual Author Dinner fundraiser
  • Food costs and creation at the Annual Chili Bowl fundraiser
  • Library programs, such as the Library Movie Series with the Judith Theater, Humanities Montana speakers, musical groups, mini planetarium from Museum of the Rockies, and more…
  • New library furniture, computers, and technology
  • Restoration of the historic doors on Main Street and exterior resurfacing
  • Upstairs bathroom remodel and meeting room renovation

Invest your time. Volunteer.

Our librarian says it best:

“The Book Station is supported by a vital volunteer network and because of this the Friends of the Library are always looking to include more people. The best way to get involved is to contact the FOL president Arlene Mari at 538-7271. Or if you are the type that likes to jump right in, come and help sort books. Every Thursday at 10 a.m., a group of dedicated volunteers gather at the Book Station on Main Street and sort through donated books for upcoming book sales. This is a great way to help out and flex your volunteering muscles.”