Monday, April 5, 2010

Toronto's First Free Bookstore

April is quite the embarrassment of riches for book lovers in Toronto. Not only is it National Poetry Month, but it's also the Keep Toronto Reading Festival.

Clearly, just as every month should theoretically be a poetry month, every month should celebrate literature and literacy. But, since that doesn't happen, it's great that the Toronto Public Library took the initiative to place importance on a love of reading. There are all sorts of great events planned (including a book swap and many, many readings) which are not only a great excuse to get out and enjoy books but also to just get outside, since the weather is so nice these days.

But when Toronto isn't openly celebrating literature and the library goes back to its usual function (which, it must be said, is still very valuable), there is one amazing institution that continues to encourage a love of books: The Children's Book Bank. The Book Bank is an amazing place for children and parents alike. It encourages not only literacy but an ownership of literature, thereby promoting a life-long love of reading that comes most freely from knowing that you can keep your favourite book with you forever, reading it as often as you like.

The Book Bank doesn't replace a library; rather, it works with the library system to allow children from all backgrounds to engage with literature in a way that excites them. I interviewed Kim Beatty, who started the Book Bank, and a seven-year-old customer, and they both had far more to say than could be included here:

The Book Bank accepts donations of gently used books. To donate, visit the Book Bank at 350 Berkeley St. (at Gerrard Street).


  1. the audio isnt working some reason for me. im not able to click on it. anyway great post, i didnt know this existed, i will try to donate books!

  2. Hmm. If the audio isn't working your browser might be missing a flash plug in. Try using Firefox or Safari (I know Internet Explorer can be difficult sometimes).


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