Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Help, The Lost, The Fort & The Rule of Four

Happy New Year's Eve!  A book swap has taken place!  This new selection covers World War II, physics, complexity theory, poetry, and estate planning!  Speaking of estate planning, I was reading the Vancouver Sun's article on the new Wills, Estates and Succession Act that includes changes to British Columbia's probate rules.

The Anglo Files, The Radiant City, and Shiva's Fire, Winner of the 2000 Parents' Choice Award for Story Books, are also featured!  Enjoy!

Happy reading and have a safe holiday!



Happy New Year's Eve!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and prosperous new year!

The Ashbys

As countries ring in 2014, you can follow the festivities here.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Do You Like Fresh Fish?

Image by Jacqueline Ashby
Do you like fresh fish?
It's just fine at Finney's Diner.
Finney also has some fresher fish
that's fresher and much finer.

But his best fish
is his freshest fish
that Finney says with pride,
"The finest fish at Finney's
is my freshest fish, French-fried!"

don't order the fresh
or the fresher fish.
At Finney's, if you're wise,
you'll say,
"Fetch me the finest
French-fried freshest
fish that Finney fries!"

~ Dr. Suess
From Oh Say Can You Say (1979)

Want to learn more about Dr. Suess? Here are 5 things you may not know about this famous icon.

Friday, December 27, 2013

somewhere i have never travelled,

Image by Jacqueline Ashby

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence: 
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me, 
or which i cannot touch because they are too near 

your slightest look easily will unclose me 
though i have closed myself as fingers, 
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens 
(touching skillfully,mysteriously) her first rose 

or if your wish be to close me,i and 
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly, 
as when the heart of this flower imagines 
the snow carefully everywhere descending; 

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals 
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture 
compels me with the colour of its countries, 
rendering death and forever with each breathing 

(i do not know what it is about you that closes 
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) 
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands
From W [Viva], (1931): LVII

For Cummings reading of the poem, listen here



Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Chester Greenwood: Inventor of the earmuff  
winter winds
begin to 
begin to 
begin to 

winter winds
too gruff
it's time 
to wear 
a pair 
                                                                             ~ Lee Bennett Hopkins

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Books!

New additions to Skookum!  I've added a BC local!  Kate Pullinger, author of A Little Stranger, is from Cranbrook, British Columbia.  Also, Skookum's little guest book is filling up!  Great to learn that you are enjoying the books and the little library.

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Days to Celebrate

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember:
"We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September."
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
                                                                     ~ Oliver Herford

From the book:

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Romance & Intrigue

This morning, I added a few more books to the selection.  The cover of The House I Loved reminded me of a scene plucked right from the television series Downton Abbey (Lady Mary on the right with one of her many suitors).  Enjoy! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holiday Stock

Skookum is filled with a delightful book collection ranging from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Percy Jackson!  There are also a series of little people books focused on early learning.  For adults, my wonderful neighbour on Purcell shared a few of his favourites: Hawaii and Mexico by Michener!  With this snow, it's hard not to think about heading south for warmer climates.  And finally, a couple of feel good books: Marley & Me and The Vegetarian Bistro.

Skookum's first guestbook entry came in from The Koops!  They were also the first family to use the library ;)  

Help yourself to the bucket of treats including bookmarks, erasers, pencils, chocolate, and candy canes.

Happy Holidays,


Friday, December 20, 2013

First Snowfall

Woke up this morning to a beautiful snowfall.  Skookum's first winter!  Tomorrow morning Skookum will be stocked with new books and loads of treats.  Come on by!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Visitor

Great Grey Owl. Image provided by Wikipedia.

Hello Friends,

The holidays are nearly upon us and to celebrate Skookum informed me that the Great Grey Owl would be visiting the little library and leaving an assortment of treats behind.  Beginning Saturday morning, browse through a variety of holiday-themed books, treasured classics, and new adventures!  



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!


The Ashbys

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Skookum's Guest Book & Info Flyer

Hello Friends,

Inside Skookum's Library you'll find a Guest Book that you can leave your name and a comment.  If there is a novel you're interested in reading, you can also jot down the author and title in this little notebook.  In addition, there's an information flyer explaining how this Library works.  Please feel free to take one.  

Have a wonderful Sunday!



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Thank You!

I want to thank my friends and neighbours who attended Skookum's launch party. Thank you especially to those that helped with the set-up! Mother Nature also cooperated and we were fortunate to have mild weather today. Treats and hot chocolate were served to those that joined us. Five hundred books were on display donated by The Book Man. A bookmark table for the children was also set up. The kids did a wonderful job creating their personalized page keepers:

Skookum dressed up for the event. Julie, my gifted neighbour and owner of SweetNothings Floral Design, created this beautiful wreath for the Little Library:

Julie also designed this delightful flower cupcake complementing the cookies and candy canes. 

Baked goodies lined the table! Thank you to Grandma Zlata and Tracycakes for the delectable morsels!

And as the party came to a close, I found this touching card left for us by our neighbours:

Thank you and you're more than welcome! I hope you all enjoy Skookum! Remember that the books are yours to keep. Please feel free to forward them on to friends and family or return them back. I still have several books in stock waiting to be shared with you.



Friday, December 13, 2013

Skookum's Open!

Hello Friends!

It's Friday the 13th and Skookum is officially open to the public! The books above and below are currently available! Looking for a particular book? Send me an email. I'll see if I have it in stock.

Children's literature:

Adult literature:

Hope you have a great weekend!



Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Skookum Reads! Little Free Library #9442

This morning, Mr. Jeremy Dace came out to help me with Skookum's posting.  It's done!  I know I've said this before but I am truly overwhelmed by the global and local support I have received towards this project.  Thank you to my Kickstarter backers, my family, and my friends for making this beautiful library a reality. 

Skookum will be open for books beginning Saturday, December 14th! Same day as the launch party! See you there! 

Mr. Jeremy Dace Securing Skookum!

Cheers and much love,


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Almost There!

Hello Friends! 

Great news! Skookum’s library is done! Our little friend is ready to welcome the community. We spent this last week addressing the structure's final touches and delivering launch party flyers to our neighbours’ mailboxes. Finn’s grandma Zlata sent us two boxes filled with cookies that she baked for the party. And today, our wonderful friend Dale came by to help us cut the post and prepare it for the library. The last step is to secure Skookum! Almost there!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Every Kid Needs A Champion

“Every child deserves a champion — an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” ~ Rita Pierson

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

We're Having a Party!

We're throwing a Little Launch Party to commemorate the opening of Skookum Reads! Little Free Library. We invite our neighbourhood and fellow book lovers to come celebrate and meet Skookum! We'll have a kid's table to make bookmarks, hundreds of new and used books to choose from, and some delicious treats to nibble on!

When: Saturday, December 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: Skookum's Little Library located at 35375 Selkirk Avenue, Abbotsford! You won't be able to miss it!

It's supposed to rain, please dress warmly. Also, please bring a recycled bag to carry your book/s home in.

A big thank you to Skookum's Little Launch Party Supporters:
City of Abbotsford
Friends of the Abbotsford Libraries
The Book Man
The Teachers' Learning Store
Tracycakes Bakery Cafe
Zlata & Ian Franklin

Monday, December 2, 2013

Post & Painting!

Setting the Post

Hello Friends!

The weather here has been cloudy with a chance of meatballs. We woke up yesterday to sheets of rain and wind but I was on a mission to get that post in the ground and no hailstorm was going to stop this woman. It's funny when the native New Yorker in me erupts. I woke up the troop and off to work we went. Rob did a wonderful job installing the post. I assisted in the post's plumbing and was responsible for the final call so if it's crooked blame me. My glasses were sitting near the front door when I was assessing the level. We also finished painting yesterday. I have a couple of final touches I'd like to add but we're almost done!

Final paint job!

Over the next two weeks, we'll allow the paint to cure and then Skookum goes out into the world! I'm excited to see how this project is received by the neighbourhood. It's sort of an exploratory study in how little free libraries integrate and/or influence their surroundings. As a researcher, I'm curious if it will encourage reading and learning as well as build on our sense of community.

This project has been incredible adventure that has allowed me to exercise my creativity and imagination while connecting with others. From the Kickstarter campaign to Skookum's character, I've been surrounded by a group of wonderful, supportive individuals who have cared as much as I have in the details and final product. Thank you again for your encouraging words, thoughts, and gestures of kindness.