Book Sale in Cley Church

As locally known book freaks, we were asked to organise a book fair for the upkeeping of our grand church although everyone knows we are agnostics. We only heard ‘books’ and immediately shouted with red cheeks and glittery eyes ‘yes!’ not knowing what this meant. But that’s typical for voluntary work, isn’t it? It started harmless with an advertisement in our local paper asking for book donations. Soon we couldn’t get into our house anymore. Heavy boxes full of books blocked our entrance like sandbags when a high flood is expected. Books attract books. They seemed to push us out of our house.

Als ortsbekannte Buchfreaks bat man uns ein Buchverkauf für die Unterhaltung unserer großartigen Kirche durchzuführen, obwohl wir allbekannte Agnostiker sind. Wir hörten ‘Bücher’ und schon riefen wir angestachelt von unseren beiden Buchfeen mit roten Bäckchen und Glitzeraugen ‘ja!’ nicht wissend, auf was wir uns einlassen würden, wie es typisch für freiwillige Gemeindearbeit ist. Es begann ganz harmlos mit einer Anzeige in unserer Ortszeitung, in der wir um Buchspenden baten. Darauf kamen wir oft gar nicht mehr in unser Haus, da schwerste Kartons gespendeter Bücher unseren Eingang wie Sandsäcke bei Flutgefahr blockierten. Bücher ziehen Bücher an. Bald schienen sie uns kafkaesk aus unserem Haus verdrängen zu wollen.

The question of censorship always arises when dealing with books. Our beloved Bookfayries Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma convinced us not to be dogmatic fundamentalists but to be open to all ideas like in our private library. Concerning censorship, the church always stood out but we counted on the enlightened judgement of our customers. That followed an English tradition. It was John Milton, ironically a censor himself, who objected censorship already in the 17th

Endless boxes with books where transported from the barn to the church, unpacked and sorted by the Friends of Cley Church.

Wenn es um Bücher geht, stellt sich die Frage nach der Zensur. Es waren unsere Buchfeen Siri 🙂 und 🙂 Selma, die uns überzeugten, dass wir keine dogmatischen Fundamentalisten seien, sondern offen alle Ideen und Ansichten zulassen sollten, wie in unserer privaten Bibliothek. In Bezug auf die Zensur hat sich stets die Kirche hervorgetan, wir dagegen setzten auf den aufgeklärten Verstand unserer Käufer. In England war es ironischer Weise ein Zensor, der Dichter John Milton, der sich bereits im 17. Jh. gegen die Zensur aussprach.


We had collected about 13000 books in half a year. We stored them in a dry barn. With many helpers from the Friends of Cley Church, we brought them to the church where we all in a joint effort presented our treasures on the pews and on beautifully laid out tables. There was live music, swing and classic, cakes, tea, coffee and Pimm’s and interesting talks about the history of our church which is seen as a little cathedral. The atmosphere was great and the success even better. Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma are very proud that we sold several thousand books on this bank holiday weekend. We were astonished that even pocketbooks in poor condition went as well as many classics.

Nach einem halben Jahr hatten wir etwa 13.000 Bücher gesammelt, die wir in einer Scheune unterbrachten. Mit viel Unterstützung der Friends of Cley Church beförderten wir sie zu unserer Kirche, wo wir auf Kirchenbänken und Tischen unsere Schätze ausbreiteten und anmutig drapierten. Es gab live Musik, Kuchen, Kaffe und der klassische Pimm’s durfte auch nicht fehlen. Vorträge über die Geschichte unserer Kirche gab es auch. Die Stimmung war bestens, der Erfolg riesig. Siri 🙂 und 🙂 Selma sind ganz stolz, dass wir an diesem langen Wochenende mehrere tausend Bücher verkauften, wobei mancher freudig ein Schnäppchen nach Hause trug. Uns verwunderte, dass selbst Taschenbücher im erbärmlichen Zustand und viele Klassiker verkauft wurden.

Some strong young men came to help to pack the unsold books when we closed the doors. They got them ready to be carried away. These unsold books were donated to the National Trust. What a shame that we had we had to give away thousands of books. In some mysterious ways, the books created a close emotional connection to all of us. To let them go was quite a challenge.

Als der Buchverkauf seine Tore schloss, kamen einige starke junge Männer, die gleich den Kölner Heinzelmännchen die unverkauften Bücher verpackten und zum Abtransport bereiteten. Diese spendeten wir dem National Trust. Welche Trauer, dass wir tausende von Bücher wieder loswerden mussten. Irgendwie bauen Bücher eine Verbindung zu einem auf. Sie loszulassen ist eine Herausforderung, mit der wir nicht gerechnet hatten.

It is typical of English village life that such activities go far beyond the sale of books. It is about the sense of community in the village. For Hanne-Dina and Klausbernd this was a special experience, as neither of us are English, nor have we lived in a village before. Coincidentally, we read a few days ago that such voluntary work is least common in Scandinavia and Germany and most common in the UK and USA. We found the warm community feeling overwhelming. New friendships were made through the shared work, everyone contributed according to their abilities, for example by baking delicious cakes and making a great punch, which was welcome in the dry book air. The music, swing and classical, also went down well, partly spontaneous and partly planned, ennobling the book sale.

Typisch ist es für das englische Dorfleben, dass solche Aktionen weit über den Verkauf der Bücher hinausgehen. Es geht um das Gemeinschaftsgefühl im Dorf. Für Hanne-Dina und Klausbernd war dies eine spezielle Erfahrung, da wir beide weder englisch sind, noch zuvor in einem Dorf wohnten. Zufällig lasen wir vor ein paar Tagen, dass solche freiwillige Arbeit in Skandinavien und Deutschland am wenigsten und in UK und USA am meisten verbreitet ist. Wir fand das warmherzige Gemeinschaftsgefühl überwältigend. Neue Freundschaften wurden durch die gemeinsame Arbeit geschlossen, jeder trug gemäß seinen Fähigkeiten zum Gelingen bei, indem z.B. leckerste Kuchen gebacken wurde und eine tolle Bowle angesetzt wurde, die bei der trockenen Buchluft willkommen war. Gut kam auch die Musik, Swing und Klassik, an, die teils spontan und teils geplant den Buchverkauf veredelte.

What remained was a book corner in our church which our Bookfayries with Dina’s help arranged beautifully. There we offer great antiquarian books for little money. As you see, books don’t let go of us. Are we book-addicts?

Was blieb war eine Ecke in unserer Kirche, die Siri 🙂 und 🙂 Selma mit Dina wunderschön gestalteten, wo wir weiterhin klein aber fein antiquarische Bücher für kleines Geld anbieten. Wie ihr seht, die Bücher lassen uns nicht los. Sollte man das Buchsucht nennen?

Wishing you all the best and happy reading
Mit lieben Grüßen und fröhliches Lesen
The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

.

© Text and illustrations, Hanne Siebers and Klausbernd Vollmar, Cley next the Sea, 2021

150 thoughts

    • Dear John,
      indeed! Cley church is that big as Cley was an important and rich harbour during the middle ages. The church is from the 14th century. It has almost cathedral-like proportions.
      Thanks and keep well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Wie wundervoll. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu diesem Erfolg.
    Es ging mit Sicherheit nicht nur um den Erlös, aber das hast Du ja selbst schon gesagt. Und warum sollte man als Agnostiker nicht den Erhalt einer Kirche unterstützen? Es sind doch kulturelle Stätten, manchmal sogar kulturelles Erbe.
    Schön, dass Ihr auch weiterhin den Büchern treu bleibt. Als Sucht würde ich das nicht bezeichnen. Eher als langjährige innere Freundschaft 🙂
    Viel Spaß auch weiterhin an Büchern und Eurem Gemeindeleben.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Liebe Hermine,
      wir haben kein Problem damit, den Erhalt unserer grandiosen Kirche zu unterstützen. Cley Church gehört zum kulturellen Erbe und wird als eine der schönsten Kirchen des Landes angesehen.
      Das hast du schön gesagt, in der Tat verbindet uns eine langjährige innere Freundschaft mit den Büchern.
      Wir fühlen uns hier echt wohl.
      Habe Dank für deinen Kommentar.
      Mit lieben Grüßen vom kleinen Dorf am großen Meer
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful way to spend the weekend! Books, an old church, music, tea and cake and maybe a Pimms! Marvellous! I’d love to have been there! You live in a beautiful part of England and this post reminds me of what I’m missing! We lived in St.Albans for many years (now we are in NI). A couple of years ago I thinned out my own books and it was like parting with the dearest of friends. The National Trust at the Argory got about 500 so at least they will move on to good homes, eventually. A wonderful post and some super photos too! Happy September! 🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Ashley,
      thanks a lot for your kind words. It was a GREAT way to spend that bank holiday weekend. We enjoyed it very much.
      It is sustainable to give pre-loved books a new home, isn’t it? We saw it as a chance to thin out our library as well. We had to make space for new books.
      Wishing you a wonderful September as well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Dear friends, I really enjoyed being in your magnificent church once more. Gorgeous images, Hanne and Frederic! I really do miss Cley next the Sea. It’s such a beautiful place and this makes it shine even more. Cley Church is grand and well worth conserving and supporting even if you are not Christian. Congratulations to all of you on this awesome book sale. I’m pleased to see that you had so many visitors and not a word about Covid, what a relief.
    Like Hanne-Dina, I’m Norwegian and community work is not high up on our list, especially if you live in a big city. I think this must be one of the advantages of living in a village. Caring for a mutual community project and each other will certainly bring happiness and wellbeing in the long run
    Keep up the good work. For the love of books and the community. Well done!
    Klem
    Per Magnus

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good afternoon, dear Per Magnus,
      our church is really great; amazingly big for our small village.
      This community feeling makes living in a village attractive. We didn’t know it from living in big cities before.
      We’ll go on to provide second-hand books for our community and we love it.
      Are you at home in Svalbard again?
      KLEM xxxx
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Seeing all the photos from your book sale brought a big smile to my face. There’s just nothing like a community book sale like that! Great job! Thanks for sharing your experience with us in your blog post!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks a lot, dear Janet.
      We were astonished how such a community book sale creates a warm community feeling.
      But now we need a rest. It was the result of half a year of preparing and working together with many locals.
      Wishing you all the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. That is just amazing. I’d have bought books to support the church and apparently, so did many others. Those pictures are so much fun. Didn’t know about volunteer work being most popular in Britain and the US. Good to know. Here, it does seem to be what we do.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Jacqui,
      for us this kind of voluntary work was new. It was fun and we were happy to see so many people interested in books. What amazed us most was that many bought classic novels, even Kafka’s novels in English translation sold.
      Keep well and thanks for commenting
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Jacqui,
      it was very surprising that people seemed to like old novels from the 19th c. Modern books – meaning after WWII to now – didn’t sell with the exception of Pratchett and Camus.
      Happy weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Applause on such a wonderful venture and all the while helping the church and reinforcing your community connections. We collect plants all year – dig, pot, take care of, and then sell. What doesn’t sell at our sale we donate to another group that has a sale two weeks later. Although it is hard to let the plants go just like your books, it always feels like we are ‘paying it forward.’ Again – you did good!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you very much, dear Judy 🙏 🙏
      ‘paying it forward’ that’s it, exactly.
      We can very well imagine that a plant sale is quite similar to a book sale.
      Wishing you a wonderful September
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I loved this post, Fab Four. The beauty of sharing, reading, educating, and celebrating comes alive in these incredible photos and narrative. What a huge undertaking you both took on, and all the many volunteers who made it happen, and then to see the books being beautifully arranged and cherished by buyers was really special. And the church is breathtaking! Congratulations to all of you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you VERY much, dear Jet, for your kind commentary.
      It was a great atmosphere for those who worked there as well as for the visitors. We got a lot of praise 🙂 🙂 We didn’t expect it to be so rewarding.
      The church dates back to a time when Cley was an important and rich harbour. A little bit more about it you can read in our answer to the first commentary.
      Keep well and happy
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Wow! 13k books, and all neatly lined up on the pews, the “seat of knowledge” indeed. That’s wonderful, your photos convey a great sense of conviviality and community spirit, looks like a fun time, and great to see folks with their arms and carry bags loaded. Congratulations on your success (and of course now you’ll be in demand to organize the next fundraiser, too!)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Robert,
      “seat of knowledge” is GREAT, we love it! 👍
      You are right, we were asked to organise the next book sale as well. Fortunately, that’s next year. Meanwhile, we run a small book corner in our church.
      We see you know how village life works.
      Thanks & cheers
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Was für eine tolle Aktion! Ich kann Dir versichern, ich wäre auch gekommen. Ich fühle mich ohne Bücher einfach nicht wohl und lese seit ich lesen kann.
    Ich wohne in einem schwedischen Dorf (ca. 120 Einwohner). Wir haben eine kleine, alte Schmiede, die wir als Bibliothek nutzen. Alle können dort Bücher spenden und/oder leihen. Dort habe ich schon so einige Schätze gefunden.
    G.l.G. aus Schweden!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Uns geht es genauso wie dir, ohne Bücher fühlen wir uns nicht wohl. Wir hatten schon immer großes Verständnis dafür, dass Entdecker wie Nansen und Amundsen einige Kisten voller Bücher mit auf ihre Entdeckungsreisen nahmen.
      Unser Dorf hat so um die 400 Einwohner, das ist ja fast eine Großstadt im Verhältnis zu euch 😉 Unser lieber Master ist übrigens teilweise in einem ähnlich kleinen Ort bei Växjö aufgewachsen. Da war es fast wie in Bullerbü 🙂
      Auch wir suchen jeden Verkauf antiquarischer Bücher heim, dem wir begegnen und fanden auch schon einige Schätze.
      Mit ganz lieben Grüßen nach Schweden und herzlichen Dank
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Roberta,
      we love book sales as well and can’t pass by a book sale without browsing.
      We have here in the UK book villages. The most famous is Hay on Wye, a village full of antiquarian bookshops. The whole village has to do with selling books. Oh dear, the last time we have been there we came back with a carload of books. Hay on Wye is in Wales but there are other book villages in the UK as well. The book village idea started in Hay on Wye. Last time we stayed in Hay on Wye for a week but could have stayed at least for a month.
      Thanks and keep well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  10. 😄 Congrats for organising such a great event together with so many people! So much life, engagement, interest and community ! And so nice and funny to read your report and see your lively photos! Cheerio, Petra

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Hallo ihr fabelhaften vier!

    Sehr atmosphärisch!
    Die Bücher kleiden die Kirche sehr und man sieht mit welcher Liebe ihr die Aktion imitiert habt.

    Ich bin erstaunt, dass gesagt wird, dass in Deutschland ehrenamtliche Arbeit am wenigsten verbreitet ist. Ich glaube das schlichtweg nicht.
    Das gesellschaftliche Leben von der Altenpflege bis hin zur Bezirksarbeit wäre ohne die ehrenamtlichen Helferinnen und Helfer nicht möglich.
    Da ich selber auch schon bei Kunstaktionen wie meinwedding 2020 tätig war, weiß ich wovon ich spreche.
    Das Zusammengehörigkeitsgefühl ist dabei wirklich fast das Schönste.

    Werdet ihr jetzt regelmäßig diesen Kirchen-Bücher-Markt veranstalten?

    Ich wünsche euch einen schönen Abend,
    Liebe Grüße von Susanne

    Liked by 3 people

    • Liebe Susanne,
      was du aufzählst an voluntary work gibt es hier schon seit zig Jahren, dazu kommen jedoch die Mengen an Charities, die unüberblickbar sind. Allerdings weiß ich nicht, wie die Statistik zustande kam. Sie stammt vom The Guardian, der einzigen Zeitung im UK, der wir vertrauen. Wenn ich hier durch die Hauptstraße einer Stadt schlendere, gibt es Mengen von Charity Shops, von deren Charities ich nie zuvor gehört habe.
      Ja, wir werden nun wohl jährlich solch einen Bücher-Markt organisieren. Well, der Ehrgeiz ist langfristig für unsere Book Sales nationwide bekannrt zu werden. Tja, wir sind ehrgeizig, weil es nur so Spaß macht.
      Mit lieben Grüßen von uns nach Berlin
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My Fab Four of Cley,
    Of course you’re book addicts!! Did someone try to tell you otherwise? haha
    You all put together a magnificent book fair. I can honestly say I have never seen another like it. Congratulations.
    Have a wonderful weekend and rest up now that the fair is over!
    GP Cox

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Hallo Ihr Vier!
    Da habt Ihr ja so richtig etwas Großes auf die Beine gestellt: Respekt und Bewunderung! Und Gratulation! Die großen Ereignisse fangen ja oft klein an, wie wohl auch in diesem Falle. Es ist schön zu hören oder besser zu lesen, dass sich so viele Stränge hier bündelten: die Liebe zum Buch, das Engagement im Ehrenamt, das leibliche Wohl, das Gemeinschaftsgefühl, das Spenden für gute Zwecke, und und und. Ich freue mich für Euch. Das habt Ihr toll gemacht, Liebe Grüße
    Juergen

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ja, ganz herzlichen Dank, lieber Jürgen. Du hast es genau getroffen, was uns bei unserer Aktion so fasziniert hat. Wir werden alljährlich solchen Buchverkauf durchführen. Nun hat uns allen der Ehrgeiz gepackt, wir wollen landesweit bekannt für unsere Buchaktionen werden. Mit der Medienresonanz sind wir auf dem besten Weg dahin. Unsere Helfer sind wie Hanne-Dina, Siri 🙂 und 🙂 Selma und alle anderen sehr ehrgeizig, unseren Buchverkauf berühmt zu machen. Unser liebes Masterchen wird wohl auf die Dauer gemütlich von seinem schönen Schreibtisch aus das Ganze begleiten.
      Ganz liebe Grüße von uns allen
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  14. How fantastic! I am envious as I don’t live in such a book-minded community. It seems a shame to have to give books away in the end but as I recently went to a National Trust property and saw a fantastic collection of books for sale (and bought two!) I know that is a good cause to support.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Tina,
      at the National Trust, the books have a great chance to find a booklover’s home.
      We are here quite an intellectual community, well, Cambridge is not that far from here. There was a time when people called our village “Cambridge next the Sea”.
      Thanks and cheers
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  15. Thank you for such a full report on the book sale. The use of the pews to display the books was a great idea. The event looked to be a super success. I wish I had a Pimm’s cup right now. Thanks for sharing this lovely event.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Here, unwanted books are often donated to prisons! It makes good sense, as the prisoners have time to read but the management has a small budget. What a wonderful effort to benefit the church. It sounds like they found the right people to run it!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. “Buy you books and buy you books…” That’s what my wife’s dad use to say to her when she was doing something he considered silly. We used to have shelves and shelves of books in the house. My uncle, from a farming family looked at all those shelves once and told me he knew of only one person who had more books than we did. That was a doctor. I always found that kind of funny. We have since given away most of our books. We still buy books, but after we have read them, especially novels, we donate them to libraries or used book stores. I don’t know how much the church pews fill with people on Sundays, but those pews looked great filled with books. Really fun post. Excellent photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Timothy,
      the church pews are empty on Sundays. Hardly anybody attends the service.
      We have quite a big library, as many books as we had in the church. We keep them for quoting and studying the different styles. Last not least we love being surrounded by books. It means cosiness for us.
      Thanks & cheers, have a great weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mermaid,
      we didn’t expect it to be that wonderful. Now we are so happy that it was such a success on every level.
      We’ll do it next year again.
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. This looks magical to me. A church filled with books! I believe it originlly was somehow meant to be – filled with books. Very beautiful idea and well executed. From above it is a haven of books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Ann-Christine,
      the church pews are ideal to present books and the books looked great there. In a way, it’s the old tradition of monasteries to write and copy, to illuminate and to collect books. Indeed, a haven of books.
      Thanks for commenting. Wishing you all the best, keep well.
      Greetings to Sweden
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  19. Liebe Fab Four,
    Klausbernd, Dina und die Bookfayries Siri und Selma, die Ihr Euch verwandelt von Buchfeen zu book fairs, Buchmessen,
    vielen Dank für Euren großen Einsatz in der Gemeinde für das Lesen, den Austausch von Büchern und diesen geteilten Beitrag mit den schönen Bildern und Bücherstapeln in einem offenen und empfangsbereiten Kirchenraum voller Geschichte und LeserInnen.
    Wie Susanne anfragt, wäre ich ebenso interessiert, was der Guardian schreibt über mögliche Unterschiede zwischen den angelsächsischen Charities und dem kontinentalen bürgerschaftlichem Engagement.
    Die Kirchengemeinde, mit der ich zusammenarbeite, veranstaltet mit einem ehrenamtlichen Team seit langer Zeit jährlich einen Buchmarkt im Gemeindesaal. Die Erlöse davon helfen zur Finanzierung der Jugendleiterin und der Jugendarbeit in der Kirchengemeinde. Ich kann gar nicht so viele Bücher kaufen, wie ich wollte, sondern sollte mal mehrere dort hinbringen.
    Respekt. Kompliment, bildet, lest und teilt weiter!
    Herzliche Wünsche und Grüße
    Bernd

    Liked by 2 people

    • Guten Morgen, lieber Bernd,
      wir bekommen jeden Morgen eine Zusammenfassung der Nachrichten vom The Guardian. Das sind immer nur 2 bis 3 Sätze und dort las ich es. Ich empfand das allerdings auch schon damals als ich in den USA lebte. Hier in England ist das sehr ausgeprägt. Eigentlich ist man nur in, d.h. integriert, wenn man irgendwelche freiwillige Arbeit macht. Ohne dem bleibt man ein Außenseiter. Allerdings macht auch jeder hier im Dorf irgendwelche Charity work.
      Übrigens “The Friends of the Cley Church” haben nichts mit der Institution der Kirche zu tun. Das Kirchegebäude und die Aufrechterhaltung der Kirche ist eine Angelegenheit der Gemeinde. So war dieser Buchverkauf für die Gemeinde – nicht, wie man im Deutschen vermuten könnte, für die Kirchengemeinde.
      Mit lieben Grüßen vom herbstlichen Meer
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Zunächst einmal: Tolle Altion, schöne Bilder und ein guter Einblick in das dörfliche Miteinander. Damit wäre ich bei der Aussage, dass es das in dieser Art u.a. hier in Deutschland nicht gibt. Ich denke, das stimmt! Natürlich gibt es auch hier Aktionen dieser Art, aber die Initiatoren sind meistens Gemeinden, Vereine, Hilfsorganisationen u.ä. Was du schilderst, dieses Engagement zunächst einzelner Privatpersonen bis zur Einbindung fast eines ganzen Dorfes, das ist wohl eher selten. Häufig lese ich, wie schwer es Zugezogene haben, in einer dörflichen Gemeinschaft einbezogen zu werden. Das geht meistens über Mitgliedschaften in Schützen- oder anderen Vereinen. Es kommt auch darauf an, in welchem Bundesland man lebt. Wenn es um reine Hilfsbereitschaft in Notsituationen geht, gibt es allerdings keine Unterschiede. Das war bei der Flutkatastrophe sehr gut zu beobachten. Dann gibt es noch dieses Miteinander bestimmter Gruppen mit ähnlichen Lebensphilosophien, politischen Ansichten. Wie im Wendland. Eine große Gemeinde politisch aktiver und künstlerisch-kreativer Menschen, und das schon seit Jahrzehnten.
    Ich wünsche euch, dass euer Dorf viele solcher wunderbaren Events erleben wird, die nicht nur einer guten Sache dienen, sondern auch das Miteinander stärken.
    Liebe Grüße,
    Elvira

    Liked by 2 people

    • Danke, liebe Elvira,
      du hast genau recht. Es sind hier Einzelpersonen, die etwas initiieren und weniger Institutionen.
      Wir hatten großes Glück, dass wir hier vor vielen Jahren gleich mit offenen Armen aufgenommen wurden. In einem deutschen Dorf wären wir wahrscheinlich ewig Außenseiter geblieben.
      Alles Gute dir und ein höchst angenehmes Wochenende
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  21. I wish I was there to take part in such a wonderful event in such a glorious setting. At the moment my study wall is plastered with notes from a friend who is suggesting books to me; Modiano, Camus, Sebald, Mendelsohn, Stroop, Beevor. I will have a job on my hands to track down copies of them all. I bet you I would have found many in the church!
    In Australia, we couldn’t operate without our volunteer mindset, which was really showcased to the world in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gwendoline,
      we remember we had Modiano, Camus in English, German and French, Sebald, all his books in German and English, and I suppose the other three may be as well. With 13000 books it’s very hard to keep an overview of what we have and haven’t not.
      Wishing you a great weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. What a great event, I wished I could have been there, I know I would have loved it wuld have brought a cake and surely bought books there. I love the community events, when everyone helps, brings cakes and makes music. What more do you need with a good book. And in such a wonderful setting. In Germany it is really hard with old books, no one wants any anymore. In my parents house are so many wonderful books and we really want to give it to people who love them. So we keep looking.
    Well done with this event, everyone enjoyed it as I can see!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Ute,
      thank you very much. We were in the lucky situation that the National Trust was interested in the books we haven’t sold. My sister told me the same from Cologne. Nobody wants old books anymore.
      We had a wonderful time.
      Thanks and wishing you a wonderful weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Liebe Moni,
      die gesamte Aktion war richtig toll. Wir hatten alle viel Spaß zusammen und es brachte noch einiges Geld für unser großartiges Kirchengebäude ein. Was will man noch mehr?
      Liebe Grüße an dich von uns
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  23. My dear friends, what a marvelous celebration of books and community. A brilliant opening line – “As locally known book freaks, we were asked to organise a book fair for the upkeeping of our grand church although everyone knows we are agnostics.” It seems that agnostics have brought about a miracle with the help of Siri and Selma’s fairy dust. Even pocketbooks in poor condition went as well as many classics. I agree that books do create a close emotional connection to all of us. It is fundamental to our existence that we share stories, experience, knowledge. It speaks to the idea of belonging. I can only imagine how difficult it was to see the books being taken away to the National Trust. As I viewed the photos I felt I was there with you listening to the music and roaming the pews filled with books. Ahhh….. Sending many hugs and love to my dear friends, the Fab Four of Cley.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, our dear friend Rebecca,
      this book fair showed that people of all age groups are still into reading. Quite some visitors were sitting in the church reading. Books and the stories they tell are still popular, much more than they seemed to be in an age of electronics. And we loved being in the middle of it, especially our beloved Bookfayries.
      With such a lot of books, there was the right book for everyone. The only problem was to find it. Some people browsed for hours and brought piles of books home.
      We are sending lots of love from Cley next the Sea to Vancouver ❤ ❤ 🤗 🤗
      Have a happy weekend, all of you
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Wow! Congratulations to all of you and what an amazing amount of books! The day looks amazing, not only books but music, Pimms, fun for the children and yes, a community united through the love of literature. I’m staggered by how many books were collected for sale and impressed you sold so many. Wish I’d been in the area – we have lots to donate but can’t seem to find anyone that will take books and I am always open to buying many more! A wonderfully uplifting post and joy to read! love & hugs to you all in Cley! xx Annika

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Annika,
      thank you very much 🙏 🙏
      It took us half a year to get all these books together. We filled a barn with them before getting them to the church.
      We had lots of fun on this bank holiday weekend – the best way to spend such a weekend 🙂
      Thank you very much for your kind words
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot, dear Rabirius.
      That’s our local church during our book sale. It was the ideal building for such a book sale.
      Thanks & cheers
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  25. Wow, da habt ihr ja einen ganz und gar unglaublichen Bücherbasar auf die Beine gestellt, toll! Besonders gut gefällt mir die Einrichtung der ständigen kleinen Buchecke in der Kirche, die sicher auch dazu beitragen wird, die neu geknüpften bzw. intensivierten Bücher- und Buchfreunde-Freundschaften lebendig zu erhalten. P.S. Buchsucht ist m.E. keine Sucht, der man sich allzu sehr schämen müsste. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guten Morgen, liebe Maren,
      wir lieben es, lesenswerte Bücher, die nicht so bekannt sind, in unserer Buchecke zu präsentieren.
      Wir waren erfreut, wie viele Buchfreunde es in unserer Umgebung gibt.
      Von unserer Buchsucht wollen wir nicht geheilt werden!
      Mit lieben Grüßen vom Meer
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

  26. I love old, beautiful churches, and I love books, so the photos of your wonderful communal effort warmed my heart! Book sales like this are fairly common here, but they’re usually associated with libraries or literacy programs, and I’ve never been to one with such wonder treats at hand. When I was living in the midwest, one of my favorite activities was going to the farm auctions. Boxes of books would be sold, sometimes for as little as a dollar a box, and there always were some gems. Leatherbound volumes sometimes showed up, and there always were very old books. There’s nothing quite like the smell of a truly old book: for me, it recalls the scent of the dusty stacks in a university library. In the old days (!) it was allowed to study there, and it was pure delight to sit among those books. Memories!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Linda,
      we find the smell of old books cosy and you are right, it’s like in a big library. By the way, our dear Master was working for years in the haunted library of the McGill University/Montreal and we have another haunted library just a few miles from here. It’s the library of Felbrigg Hall with one of England’s biggest collections of rare books. The library in Hill House/Helensburgh build by Charles R. Mackintosh is said to be haunted as well as the Marsh Library/Dublin. It seems to be that ghosts love this smell of old books too 😉 Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma are so sorry that they never saw a ghost in one of these libraries.
      Thanks and all the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Eine tolle Idee und vor allem in diesem besonderen Ambiente!
    Ich liebe es auch durch die sogenannten Bücherdörfer zu bummeln, wie ich sie in Belgien und in Schottland schon kennengelernt habe.
    Liebe Grüsse aus dem Elsass
    Karin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, dear Pit.
      We loved to do it but it was a lot of work as well. We collected books for about six months. Now we’ll have a holiday 🙂
      Wishing you a wonderful coming week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I’ve had this page open for a day and wanted to take my time with it. Pews full of books is my idea of Heaven. I too would and do have a hard time letting go of books. Someone else said it was like giving away family pets. I’ve had to do a lot of that lately. I have a shirt that says “It isn’t hoarding if it’s only books” Your church is beautiful. I’m agnostic as well. Love churches but don’t go. Love Source but don’t do religion. We all look at life in different ways, don’t we? Community was what I was looking for when I moved into my little trailer here. I’m still looking for it. Once I sell it, I’m going on a worldwide search for a place to belong. It sounds like you have found it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We travelled around the world. Before we were living for quite a while in Montreal and New York City, in Finland, Sweden and other countries. Then we found this place here and immediately fell in love with it. It’s an idyllic village at the sea in the east of England.
      We love books and have quite a big library ourselves. It was fun collecting and selling all these books for our community.
      Thanks for your commentary and have a great week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Liebe Ruth,
      das war natürlich etwas für uns Buchliebhaber, erst das Sammeln der Bücher und dann der Verkauf. Die Stimmung war prima. Aber jetzt ruhen wir uns erst einmal etwas aus.
      Sei herzlich gegrüßt und vielen Dank fürs Kommentieren
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Naja, liebe Ruth, wir überlegen oftmals, ob wir unser Bloggen beenden sollten oder zumindest in größeren Abständen bloggen sollten. Dann wiederum lieben wir das Bloggen. Wir sind da völlig uneins.
      Herzliche Grüße
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  29. This was one of my favorite posts. Was it the books? Was it the beautiful old church? Was it the outstanding photography? Was it the community coming together? It was all of these. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I don’t know what to be impressed with more – your bravery at agreeing to organize the book fair, that gorgeous church, your accomplishment at actually putting the book fair on, or these excellent photographs! It’s all wonderful! Kudos to you both – and the book fairies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you sooo much, dear Lynn.
      For some time, we didn’t know if we should do it or not. The problem was the vicar who wanted to practise censorship. When this problem was solved as our church is run by the friends of Cley church and not by the church of England, we decided to do the book sale. The preparations took half a year but it was worth it. We really enjoyed it.
      Thanks for liking Dina photographs.
      Wishing you a happy day
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn,
      we got a lot of praise from our community and, of course, they want us to do it again next year. We had a lot of helpers otherwise we couldn’t have done it.
      All the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • At least it seemed that some people found the book they needed or they were looking for. With so many books you always find a book you like.
      Thanks for commenting.
      Have a happy weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dankeschön!
      Ja, um so viele Bücher grob durchzusehen, benötigt man etwa 90 Minuten. Aber, wie gesagt, man kann sich ziemlich sicher sein, einen Schatz zu finden.
      Mit herzlichen Grüßen vom Meer
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ich erinnere mich an eine Weihnachtsausstellung, die geschaffen wurde, um Geld für das marode werdende Anwesen einer Gräfin zu generieren.
      “Frau XYZ sucht händeringend eine Keramikerin dafür!!”, meinte ein Mitglied des Komitees.
      Meine Frau stellte also dort aus – nichts als Spesen, was ich ja deutlich geahnt hatte.
      Um meinen Frust zu kühlen, ging ich mind. 2 Stunden in ein Gebäude mit antiquarischem Verkauf von Büchern. Da gab es wirklich einiges. Ich kaufte damals 3 Bücher.
      So war ich versöhnt mit diesem Eingespanntsein.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lieber Gerhard,
      wir machten immerhin mehrere tausend GBP für unseren Kirchenbau. Etwa 5500 Bücher verkauften wir nach unserer Hochrechnung und rund 8000 Bücher spendeten wir weiter an den National Trust.
      Hab’s fein
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lieber Pit,
      es hat sich in jeder Hinsicht gelohnt, einmal geldlich fürs Gebäude der Kirche, zum anderen für den sozialen Zusammenhalt des Dorfes und für uns in Bezug auf Kontakte. In der einen oder anderen Weise hat fast jeder aus Cley uns unterstützt. Bücher und Lesen sind gute Möglichkeiten, die Leute hier zu verbinden. Erstaunlich ist es, wie viele lesefreundliche und belesene Nachbarn wir haben.
      Ganz liebe Grüße von uns
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Dear Peter
      Yes, it was indeed!
      We live in a village full of bookworms. People left with boxes full of books.
      Wishing you a happy weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

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