Amtrak passengers can now ‘ride and read’

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

HAMLET — According to Amtrak.com, passengers getting on or off a train in Hamlet can look forward to Wi-Fi connection at the Hamlet Depot, and no  ATM.

But they can get a book.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Carmella Johnson, supervisor of the Hamlet Library, looks at the newly installed bookshelf with complimentary books situated inside the Hamlet Depot.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Carmella Johnson, supervisor of the Hamlet Library, looks at the newly installed bookshelf with complimentary books situated inside the Hamlet Depot.

Members of Friends of the Hamlet Library proudly showcased a donation to the city of Hamlet and the Hamlet Depot and Museums on Friday morning that could help a passenger pass the miles through an adventure story, a romance or biography. The books — more than 50 of them to start with — can be taken without a cost. And if you have one to leave, so much the better.

The idea came about when Friends member Linda Martin said that while in Tampa, Fla., train station, she saw a bookcase filled with complimentary books. She brought the idea back to the Friends group, and it was enthusiastically decided that donating a bookshelf and books could increase the number of readers.

The shelf is situated outside the gift shop in the depot’s rotunda. The average of 10 to 15 passengers at the 6:14 a.m. train each day, or the 11:14 p.m. each night, now have the option of spending some of the time waiting for their ride with a book.

The concept of a free book is similar to the Little Free Library, which places books available at no charge to the reader. Give a book, take a book — a literary twist on the convenience store counter scenario with pennies.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Nana Winston, Jane McCall, Carmella Johnson, Linda Bayless, Bill Bayless, Marcus Abernethy and Jim Graham pose for a photo around the bookshelf inside the Hamlet Depot rotunda.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Nana Winston, Jane McCall, Carmella Johnson, Linda Bayless, Bill Bayless, Marcus Abernethy and Jim Graham pose for a photo around the bookshelf inside the Hamlet Depot rotunda.

The Friends of the Hamlet Library adorned the top of the bookshelf with stacks of custom bookmarks that include the library information; Friends member Linda Bayless said that if a passenger has an extended stay in town, they might be encouraged to walk up Main Street to the library.

The Friends group plans a second donation on Monday at Hospice Haven to further spread the joy of reading.

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Featured News, Hamlet, Latest Headlines, News

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  • Sandra Allen Elliott

    good idea!

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