by Katie Delp
The first thing I noticed was books.
I was at home in my parents’ house that first Christmas after I’d moved into an inner-city neighborhood after college. Of course, there were many differences between my parents’ house and the homes of my new neighbors in Atlanta. But as I looked around that Christmas, the biggest difference that stood out to me was books.
I grew up with books in nearly every room of the house. Our living room was lined with shelves displaying familiar titles. Well-used cookbooks huddled in the kitchen, holding memories of meals together and sometimes a few drops of each dish. My childhood bedroom was full of favorites, like Ramona Quimby and Anne of Green Gables.
My new neighbors didn’t have these crowded shelves overflowing with written words. In fact, in some homes I never saw even one book.
There are countless studies about the effect of books in the home of children. Simply having as few as twenty books in the home can increase a child’s educational attainment by almost three years. I consider this data when I visit some of my neighbors’ homes. A lack of books is too often a true reality.
We are filling the shelves in our coffee shop with books for local families to borrow and swap. It’s fun to watch kids pick out a copy of Judy Moody while their parents grab a cup of coffee or shop at Carver Market. I can joyfully report there’s a steady flow of readers browsing the shelves daily.
And we hope to grow our little library! Would you be willing to help stock our shelves? If you have books gathering dust that you’d like to donate, contact me [katie at fcsministries dot org] and set up a time to deliver them to the store. If you aren’t quite ready to part with your favorites, you can send books directly to us by ordering from our AMAZON WISHLIST. Send us the story you think everyone should read.
I dream of a neighborhood where every home is full of books. Thanks for helping us take the first steps!