Book Fairy Birthday Stories: Ashley in Montana

We are celebrating our first birthday in SO MANY WAYS, including #BookFairyBirthday goodies, #BookFairyCakes and this gorgeous Happy Birthday video. We are also inviting fairies from around the WORLD to share their stories – here is Ashley from Montana 🙂 

The story of ashley in montana, USA

The Book Fairies has become a passion project for me. I love hiding books around for others to find and enjoy and pass on in their turn. Reading has been a love of mine for years that lead to a personal library of around 300 books. It had become a bit of joke. Friends and family borrowed books, saying they were checking them out of my library. It was a bigger joke between my mom and I, however, as we reminisced on the years of my childhood when my mom fought to find ways to get me interested in reading. I had always liked the idea of getting lost in a book, but had found the actual act daunting and often gave up on books a few pages in. This personal struggle to find a love of reading drives me to try and help others to find that same love and makes me more aware than most how important it is to find the right book to get you reading. Fulfilling that drive proved to be harder. Before the Book Fairies my only means to do so was to try and find books I thought others would enjoy and lend them out.

I stumbled across The Book Fairies completely by accident. Upon seeing the live action Beauty and the Beast movie in theaters early in 2017, I became determined to make Belle and Beast’s dance from the movie mine and my fiance’s first dance at our wedding. One sleepless night at college, I started searching on YouTube for video tutorials on the choreography. My search came up null and I ended up meticulously going through the scene and recreating the choreography after the DVD release of the movie. That night however, my search eventually lead to finding interview videos with the cast of Beauty and the Beast, then to interviews with just Emma Watson, and eventually to videos and interviews with Miss Watson about The Book Fairies and her hiding books around New York.

After a quick google search, I found The Book Fairies webpage. The weight of paying for college, saving for a wedding, and the cost of just living kept me from committing for a while. Besides that, I enjoy my library and had a hard time with the thought of parting from my books. So I started looking for ways I would be able to obtain books fairly cheap. This lead me to Thrift Books. Once I felt I had the money to spare, I placed an order for a few books I enjoyed and placed my first order of Book Fairy goodies as well. As I waited for the order to arrive, I did more research into The Book Fairies, read the blog posts on the site, found Instagram pages, and learned of the Official Fairies. So I started looking for an Official Fairy in Montana. I found none. Being the dreamer that I am, I entertained the idea of becoming the Official Montana Book Fairy, telling myself that after I get my order and start hiding some books, I would email Cordelia and inquire about the topic.

As I waited, I was also helping a friend prepare for her wedding, including helping to make the bridesmaids dresses. Making the dresses inspired me to make the bridesmaids dresses for my own wedding as well as get back into sewing and start making more of my own clothes. I’ve always struggled finding garments that fit my body type, and making my own clothes would allow me to adjust the patterns to my body. So I started looking at patterns. I quickly found several and, after a sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics, accumulated a small collection of patterns to set aside as future projects.

I started a notebook to start planning for these projects. As I pieced together what I would do for each pattern, and idea started forming in my head: a Book Fairy Jacket. A simple thing, I thought I could make it in Book Fairy green, embroider the wings from the logo onto the back with the slogan “I believe in Book Fairies” embroidered beneath in white. It would be perfect for Book Fairying in the colder the months! I quickly emailed Cordelia for permission to use the image on the jacket and started planning the materials. Here is the finished result!

Now, I’m not the most patient person in the world. I was still waiting for my order to arrive. Honestly, I’m not sure it had been even a week since I had placed the order. But my fantasies had started to run wild and I was already talking with my friends about how great the organization was and how excited I was to become a part of it. I decided I couldn’t wait, and sent an email shortly after asking about the jacket to ask about becoming a Montana Book Fairy.

Thank goodness Cordelia is patient and understanding. She worked with me as I received my first set of stickers, ribbons, bookmarks, and a tote bag and soon enough I was uploading my first drops onto the Montana Book Fairy Instagram page.

Becoming a Book Fairy is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Being the Official Montana Book Fairy is honor and responsibility I love. Every time I able to place a sticker on a book and leave it behind in a public space, I get a little warm feeling in my belly as I imagine the lucky reader excitedly tucking it away in a bag and bringing it home. I have yet to personally see books left by anyone else around the towns I’ve been in, but have been told by friends that they have seen people in the act of hiding books. Every account I hear of makes me so happy that the Book Fairies is spreading to Montana and I sincerely hope to see more of these drops on social media and share them on the Official Montana page.

That is the biggest challenge being a Book Fairy: finding other Montana Book Fairies and their social media posts. Every reader I know, I encourage to become a Book Fairy. I’ve brought several friends along with me on drop outings. Many are waiting until they are more financially stable and able to purchase books to drop (as many check their books out from public libraries or borrow from mine). Meanwhile, I drop my books as often as I can and anxiously await my fellow Montana Book Fairies to make themselves known.

The Book Fairies has brought me so much joy and brought me to so many places I never would have known without them. I’ve met so many people, learned about Little Free Libraries (which I frequent, leaving our bestickered books for the avid readers and to help keep the shelves filled), I have broadened my own reading horizons with our wonderful book club, and I have been on adventures finding the best hiding spots I can.

Thank you for this amazing opportunity and community. Happy Birthday Book Fairies!

You can find Ashley on:

Loved reading about how to become a book fairy? As you saw – the first step is getting those little stickers! We have our classic green or a birthday gold available – and everything has free shipping! Happy Birthday Book Fairies 🙂

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