Book craze opens new chapter in Perth

Ceri Jenkins, of Kinross, started Look For A Book Perth All Areas, hiding books in public places. Picture: David Baylis d495489
Ceri Jenkins, of Kinross, started Look For A Book Perth All Areas, hiding books in public places. Picture: David Baylis d495489

FORGET painted rocks and Pokemon Go, the latest craze sweeping across Perth is a page-turner.

Books are turning up in playgrounds, shopping trolleys, trees and on park benches in an initiative that excites readers of all ages.

Picked up from the UK, Kinross resident Ceri Jenkins started a Facebook group called ‘Look for a book Perth and northern suburbs’ in mid-August.

She said the inspiration came from a similar group in her hometown in Wales and the aim was to hide books in public places for other grown-ups and children to find, read and leave somewhere for the next person.

Picture: Ceri Jenkins

It has quickly grown to about 500 members as people discover pre-loved books in sealable, reusable plastic bags with a note explaining the initiative.

“The pure joy and happiness on children’s and adults’ faces, smiling over their finding of books hidden in parks and public places made me want to see more,” the mother-of-two said.

“It was so wonderful to see families out there just having fun that it made me want to do something similar in Perth where we really have the perfect climate for outdoor activities.  

Picture: Look for a book Perth all areas/Facebook

“At first I decided to just roll it out in the northern suburbs, but very quickly I received responses from people from outside the area asking if they could be involved that I decided to try and roll it out for all of Perth.

“It’s wonderful to see people of all ages wanting to take part.”

Members of the group are encouraged to post photos of the books they leave as clues.

So far they have left books in Clarkson, Currambine, Joondalup, Karrinyup, Mindarie, Ridgewood, Woodvale and Carramar, as well as Araluen Botanic Park and Port Coogee.

Picture: Ceri Jenkins

“I have received quite a few book donations and am managing to get these out at various locations,” Mrs Jenkins said.

“I would love in the future to organise some larger book hunts and family days out.

“Hide and seek for books – what a great way to spend your time.”

Picture: Look for a book Perth all areas/Facebook

The craze proved popular across the UK during its summer school holidays as a way to entertain children and get them excited about reading.

The ‘West Cumbria look for a book’ Facebook page appears to have been the first, starting in mid-July and attracting more than 8000 members.

Dozens of other groups have since formed across the UK, with ‘Look for a book North East England’ and ‘Look for a book Scotland’ among the biggest growing to more than 54,000 and 22,000 members respectively since they started in late July.

Find out more about the Perth group here. UPDATE, September 2: Following publication of this story, the group’s membership and reach has grown and it was renamed ‘Look for a book Perth all areas’.

Picture: Ceri Jenkins