Good books, great friends, beautiful town, perfect weather. Is there a better recipe for a fantastic day?
When I learned about Hide a Book Day and its corresponding hashtag, I knew
I had to participate. The idea was to spread the love of reading by hiding books in unexpected places. Surprise presents for an unsuspecting public.
When I get a notion in my head, I like to run with it. Instead of one book, two books, I wanted to give away a whole lot of books. So I reached out to a group of authors that I knew would be enthusiastic about participating – the Lake Union authors – my publishing family.
They loved it. Within days, I had sixteen books in my mailbox, and I got to work.
I’d ordered official stickers, but they never arrived, as I’d accidentally listed the state on my mailing address as Texas instead of Virginia. Sixteen years in Texas, six months in Virginia. Honest mistake.
Instead, I wrote out homemade ones, asking the finder of the book to post a picture online, use the hashtag, and to review it when they were finished with it.
The mechanics were finished. The next step – decide where to place everything. For this feat, I leaned on a new friend of mine – the kind I hoped to find when we made this cross-country move. She knew everything about everything in our town and was the perfect resource. When the day came, we packed my eight-passenger mini-van to the max with our collective six kids (minus my two teens) and set out for a day of book-giving adventure.
There may or may not have been a Starbucks drive-through side trip.
All fueled up, we thought it would be fun to do this thematically.
Where We Fall, by Rochelle Weinstein has strong football themes, so we left it at Tribe Stadium at the College of William and Mary. Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey centers around a pottery guild, so we left it at an eighty-year-old pottery store. Our favorite was At Wave’s End by Patricia Perry Donovan. With its beautiful seashell cover, we drove to the beach and set it on a bench for a lucky reader to find.
The adventure took us to a building erected in 1695, a garden with a white picket fence, a Christmas store, a museum, a farm-to-market restaurant, a diner, a church, and more.
I’ve walked by those places several times since then, and I wonder every time about the people who discovered the books. Did they wonder at the unusual places the books had been left? Did they smile when they read the note and realize that it was a gift? Did they crack open the spines and did they enjoy the stories?
I hope they got half as much joy finding them as we did placing them. Because Hide a Book Day 2018 will definitely see us hiding treasure once again.
Camille Di Maio is an award-winning real estate agent in San Antonio who, along with her husband of 20 years, enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She loves finding goodies at farmers markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. “The Memory of Us” is Camille’s debut novel. Her second, “Before the Rain Falls” released in 2017, and her third, “The Way of Beauty” will come out on May 1, 2018.