Teens Start Book Exchange

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Sebastian Burns and Astrid Burns with some of the books that they have already collected.

Sebastian Burns, 17, and his sister Astrid, 14, have started a community initiative called the Dear Reader Book Exchange. The idea was inspired by their grandmother, who they say is an avid reader but who lives alone, has no access to her library now and is not an online shopper. “She was in need of some new reading material,” Sebastian Burns says. “That made me think about all the grandparents, kids and other community members who might enjoy something new to read but lack access to their usual sources.”

The idea is simple: The Burns siblings are asking the Verona community to donate books of all types in good condition, and they will compile in a list and distribute to anyone in the community who’d like a book. “We will have containers outside of our house for donations, and we are happy to pick up as well,” says Burns, who lives at 53 Brentwood Drive on the Laning side of town.

And he has one more request to amp up the community spirit. “To personalize this initiative, we ask that everyone who donates a book include a brief ‘Dear Reader’ note inside the book—perhaps share what they enjoyed about the book, send an inspiring message, or just say hello to a neighbor,” Burns says.

Community members can donate books and request books to read off of a list that the Burns’ will update weekly on their Facebook group page. They can also be contacted at [email protected].

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