Friday Reads: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

This is the story of a book not being what we expected the book to be! When we ordered a copy of Cape Cod Notebook: an alternative guidebook to the beaches of Cape Cod by Betsy Medvedovsky, I suppose we were anticipating something in the vein of Robert Finch’s A Cape Cod Notebook, only focusing on beaches. How wrong we were! It turned out that the alternative guidebook was sort of a Cape Cod beach journal, where the person reading the book was also writing it! There was a list of beaches on the Cape, with some basic information on each one, and then a blank page for the beach goer to fill in with his or her own reflections on the beach. So the conundrum was, what does a public library do with a book that is essentially blank pages? We noticed that we weren’t the only Cape library that had ordered it, and some had already withdrawn it when they saw what it was. Others put big stickers in the front saying that this was a library book, and thus you were not to write in it. We decided to take a different approach, and turn it into a writing project.

So … we added a note that you see when you open the book which reads:

 

“This book is unique.
Why?
Because we are inviting
YOU to help write in it.
Please share your beach day with
everyone. Tell us about the view …
the sand … the waves …
Was the bird watching good? How about
sharks, boats, surfers, crowds?
Thank you for your thoughtful
comments. They just might inspire
someone to discover a new
favorite Cape Cod beach!”

And then we sent the book out into the world. It just returned to us briefly, so that we could check on our experiment, and it is working!! Here is one reader’s thoughts on Chapoquoit Beach in Falmouth:

“One of our favorite spots when we visit our family in Falmouth. Grandkids love the long expanse of shallow water. Surf on windy days can be great fun! Kite boarders provide excitement too. Shells & rocks abound, and the sand is soft & perfect for building castles and digging deep holes. We love it!”

So if you check out this book, be sure to write in it! And when it is full, we plan to add it to our Local History Collection in the Reference Room.

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