Fri, Sep 15, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Volunteer offers books to passengers at station

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

New Taipei City Library volunteer Huang Su-e offers a book to a passenger on Wednesday at Ruifang Station in New Taipei City.

Photo: Lin Hsin-han, Taipei Times

Seventy-year-old Huang Su-e (黃素娥) can often be seen pushing a cartful of books around the Taiwan Railways Administration station in New Taipei City’s Ruifang District (瑞芳), offering books to passengers to pass the time while they wait for their train.

The oldest volunteer at the New Taipei City Library, Huang sells vegetables at a local market in the morning and afterward gathers a cart-load of books from the local library before wheeling them to the station.

For more than two years, she has followed this schedule, and while her trolley has been damaged or even broken several times, she has ultimately found it more satisfying to give than to receive, she said.

She is filled with great satisfaction upon seeing the waiting passengers take the books that she has arranged and stickered, Huang said.

As Ruifang does not have a bookstore, she is exhilarated to do what little she can for her hometown by spreading the joy of reading to people, she added.

As a volunteer, Huang has distributed more than 1,000 books to people at the station.

Volunteers at the Ruifang branch of the New Taipei City Library provide tremendous help by promoting the “bookcrossing” concept throughout the town, branch head Hu Li-chu (胡麗珠) said.

Bookcrossing is the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be read by others, who then do likewise.

Huang joined the branch’s group of volunteers in 2012 and by 2015, was the volunteer who devoted the most time to helping out at the library, Hu said.

Although Huang experiences leg pain due to a spinal problem, she still uses her spare time between rehabilitation sessions to distribute books at Ruifang Station, Hu said.

She plans on continuing to distribute books at the station as long as she is able to move, Huang said, adding that she hopes the town’s residents would continue the habit of reading.

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