Meet the woman from West Kelowna, BC who has been making sure books don’t get destroyed for 25 years
Carol Jackson was at her local recycling yard 25 years ago when she was horrified to see a stack of books being crushed by a press.
“It upset me so much,” said the 71-year-old.
To save others from this fate, she received permission from the Depot to build a large shed in the center and fill it with discarded books to give away to visitors to the Depot.
Eventually her collection grew so large that she had to move them to her garage.
“It was so much fun organizing them, and while I was doing it, people were coming down the driveway with their kids, so it kind of became a meet-and-friend lifestyle,” Jackson said.
“It was really great.”
Since then she has been saving books in West Kelowna, BC.
Jackson’s garage became a de facto second hand book store. Bookshelves and boxes line the walls, forming aisles in the middle. It organizes books by genre, author and era.
She calls it her “Adopt-a-Book” program and estimates she’s been able to give away hundreds of thousands of books; everything from 100-year-old texts to romance novels to how-to guides.
“So this is 1882,” she said, opening a dusty old book of poetry.
“You can see how different the pages and the caption are, the whole set. It can take you back in time.”
Her collection and interest in the shop has gradually waned over the years, but it recently gained popularity when a friend posted about it on Facebook Marketplace.
“So many people came and it was so nice to talk and share with them,” she said.
Kelowna resident Marina Ragimova, who works in film production, says she heard from a colleague at Jackson’s garage and visited last summer to borrow books for the set.
She says they are in the Hallmark film B&B Happy with Jen Lilley and Jesse Cubby.
“When the show was over I called her and wanted to see if she would be okay with us buying it off her. She didn’t want to take any money,” Ragimova said.
“She just kept saying, ‘You know what, just keep it. I am glad these books were used.”
“Impressed by her kindness and generosity”
When Ragimova visited Jackson a second time and mentioned that she wanted to get back to reading, Ragimova said that Jackson helped choose books she would enjoy.
“I just stood there awkwardly holding this box, struck by their kindness and generosity. She was just so beautiful,” she recalled.
She took photos of the books and garage and posted them on Facebook Marketplace to tell others about Jackson.
Jackson says the joy she gets in meeting new people and when someone finds interesting reading makes the effort she puts into her project worthwhile.