“Of making many books, there is no end.” So wrote the author of Ecclesiastes 12:12 in the Bible, always thought to be wise King Solomon. But, maybe not, say some scholars of the scriptures. At any rate, whoever wrote it, the statement is certainly true: There are indeed many books being made. Amazon currently lists 32.8 million!
The valley libraries in Winthrop and Twisp are part of the North Central Regional Library system offering accessibility to about any book one wants to read. The Winthrop library supports 30 book clubs and Twisp another 10. Suffice it to say, avid readers abound in the valley.
The bustling Winthrop library has been bursting its seams for a while and Friends of the Winthrop Public Library (FOWL) have been enthusiastically making progress on construction of an impressive light-filled new facility. Preliminary work at the site on White Avenue began in November. Construction is scheduled to begin in June.
The new library will be much better equipped to service the community as a place to “gather, connect and discover.” Very exciting.
In addition to the libraries, there is no shortage of places where books can be found around the valley. Our local bookstore is dependably open every day of the week. Given that there are many local authors, Trail’s End gives special attention to their works, as well as books written about the area.
Three used book sales occur during the year.
The granddaddy of all book sales takes place at the Methow Valley Community Center on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends with proceeds supporting the Twisp library. An equally popular sale takes place in conjunction with the fall ski swap at the Winthrop Barn. Proceeds support the Winthrop library. Readers walk away with stacks of books. Personally, I made two trips to the car with my mother lode!
Here in Mazama, we have the first of Methow Arts’ Little ART Libraries. Launched in March 2014, the uniquely handcrafted metal library was designed and created by local artist Tim Odell and his crew. With Mazama’s well-known extreme weather (as I write: 3 degrees, 3 inches of snow), Tim made sure the design would keep books clean and dry. He also paid special attention to the aesthetic of Mazama and the Mazama Store. Missy and Rick LeDuc, owners of the store and committed art and community supporters, helped sponsor the project. As with all Little ART Libraries, the project offers free books with a “take one, leave one” policy.
Mazama’s Little Free Library was relocated due to the construction of the new Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies store, but it is still there! Just snoop around the back of the store, poke your head in the library, and come out with a book! Right now you can find a Myanmar travel guide, baby handbooks, a recent Baldacci novel, several New York Times best-selling novels, and even a copy of “Hamlet.” (Please close the door tight behind you.)
Off topic: It’s always daunting to head “to town” after we’ve had a dump of 16 inches of snow. However, with roads plowed after the storm, we headed in to see what an Open Mic night at the Methow Valley Ciderhouse was all about. Facilitated by Ken Bevis, we were thoroughly entertained with the musicians who showed up to share their talents on a cold winter’s night. The last few songs of the night were a delightful group jam with several of the participating musicians on guitars (acoustic and electric), harmonica, bongos, even a washboard. Needless to say, worth the drive!