One of the best decisions I have made since leaving university has been volunteering at Book-Cycle. There is always the potential for feeling a little purposeless and downtrodden when on the search for employment and living back with your parents, but volunteering has honestly been the best antidote. Not only because it gives me something to do with myself (surprisingly, having oodles of free time is not as fun as it sounds), but also because of the new people and experiences it has already brought into my life.
For starters, Book-Cycle is an absolutely fab charity! I can’t sing its praises enough; it enriches local communities, educates children in developing countries, plants trees across England, (to name just a few Book-Cycle ventures), all whilst providing people with access to a fantastic array of second-hand books in local stores. I have to exercise a ridiculous amount of restraint not to come home with armfuls of books; there is always something interesting to discover – from UFO theories to bestselling fiction. (The more I think about it; perhaps these interesting finds could be incorporated into Miscellaneous Me… Watch this space!)
There’s something about Book-Cycle that attracts not just an amazing variety of books, but people too. At Exeter’s High Street store one day, in between swapping uncanny experiences with a knowledgeable, chilled out dude and a business-man, I met a woman who speaks nine languages, a charming old man interested in military history and the most adorable little girl, her newly-purchased picture book clasped tightly in hand.
Book-cycle is all about environmental sustainability and the power of words for universal educational empowerment, and I can’t think of a more vibrant, worthwhile organisation to give my time to. I highly recommend checking out their website – it is a gargantuan fount of knowledge! There are tons of ways to get involved; you don’t have to be close by. So, have a read, spread the word, and remember:
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” — Lemony Snicket