Jade is a true inspiration, she loves sharing stories and has found a wonderful way to do so across New Zealand. She spends her time dropping off books on public transport for people to find, read and pass on. Meet the first New Zealand based Book Fairy…
Since early January I’ve been running Books on the Bus. I got inspired when I saw my daughter watching a video of Emma Watson dropping books on the London underground and got in touch with the people behind the movement and I asked them if they’d mind me bringing the concept to New Zealand – they were excited for me to do so!
I’m originally from the Philippines, so I didn’t even have many books here after we moved (that being said I have now amassed a pretty good collection). So, when starting Books on the Bus I got in touch with some publishers and the response was awesome, I got a variety of books from different publishers. I now also work with a community centre in Devonport who let me take any book I like!
In college, I studied literature, and both my parents are writers so I’ve always been into reading. I struggle so hard with narrowing down my favourite book. However, I am a Harry Potter fan and I always will be – it has to be amongst my favourite books. I do love reading soppy romance stories though too…
Romeo and Juliet was one of the first books to make me cry, I was in high school and I really connected and fell in love with the book and reading itself. Or when (spoiler alert) Dobby died, I was so upset and the story had moved me so much.
I’ve always thought we’re meant to be more ‘in’ this world. After having a kid, I wanted to change the world for the better for her. I’m passionate about reading and books and I thought how amazing it would be if in the future if the project is still going and sustainable it would be so incredible to tell my daughter what her mum started. She’s already into reading and she’s only just turned 5, she wants to read all the books in her preschool! I’m so proud!
I take the bus and go different routes and drop the books along my journeys. I do around 20hours of work on Books on the Bus every week. This helps to get people involved and let them know what’s going on and this really does take a lot of time. I started on facebook, I run a twitter account and I also have just started on Instagram. It’s mostly me, but I’ve just on boarded a new helper who has been doing a great job in collecting books.
My first book drop was pretty emotional, I was so nervous and I actually kissed the book goodbye. The book was Mister Pip, by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones and it is one of my favourite books. I was so excited to share that book with Auckland.
The Book Fairies
It’s crazy at the moment, there’s some huge stuff coming at the moment – I’m very excited. I want the Book Fairies and Books on the Bus to work together. They’re both awesome and inspirational movements, I’m proud to call myself a book fairy, you can’t really get a better job description than that!
A lot of people are so happy to see a book movement like this in New Zealand. Some people understand the movement right away and they get what the books about and smile immediately. Some people are a bit more cautious and it takes a bit longer to dawn on them. But it’s such a great feeling to see people wander away looking happy with a new book they’ve found, it makes the story even more special. It’s so great to hold a book in your hands, and feeling it, smell it and get immersed in it.
I want to spread the love of reading, it’s something I learned from my parents and am passing on to my family. Whether it’s the first time they see that book, or if the title is an old favourite for them. For me this movement connects with so any people and can bring so much joy.
My husband isn’t into reading at all, I keep getting him to read but he’s not so sure at the moment. It’s hard to encourage people who aren’t into reading to start to read, but I think Books on the Bus is a great place to start as it just has a level of excitement to it. I’m lucky as I have a great bunch of people around me who are equally as passionate about reading and keep me inspired too.
I want to properly grow the movement in New Zealand. I want to always be involved, I want to be physically putting the books on the bus. It’s really worth the time and effort I put into it. I’ve recently gone into a partnership with 2 taxi firms which I’ve given a load of books to distribute. I’m also going into a partnership with a campervan company and I’m looking into local government funding too. There’s a really exciting future ahead of Books on the Bus.