During the pandemic, three good friends living in Tucson (Emily, Jody, and Mary Ellen) decided that we needed to put our energy into something positive to help us get through the general craziness of 2021. We agreed that we wanted to share some surprise kindness and delight with our community here in Tucson.
We all love books, so in September 2021 we decided to buy 30 copies of one of our favorite books (here’s looking at you, “The House in the Cerulean Sea”!), put a bookmark/sticker/bow on them, and we hid them all around town for people to find. And so began the adventures of the @tucsontomegnome ♥️
It was SO FUN seeing people finding the surprise books that we kept going and in 2021, we hid 90 books around Tucson, hoping that they would bring some surprise bookish happiness to our friends and neighbors who found them. in 2022 we launched a successful GoFundMe, which supported us in hiding nearly 400 books over the course of the year.
The average cost for each month's books is around $400 (we only buy from indie book stores!). The expenses also add up as we add in various costs for supplies as well as printing custom stickers, bookmarks, etc.. Additionally, this year we are spending some money to achieve nonprofit status AND we hope to have some funds leftover to support growing other book-sharing opportunities to benefit the community – particularly supporting those who may not have direct access to books. Thus, our goal for this GoFundMe is to raise $7,500 to help us continue to hide free books through 2023!
Why this? Why books? Escaping into beautiful stories is one of the ways we have survived these past few years - and we want others to have that experience as well. Also, it’s just nice to put some random kindness into the world during a time that has otherwise been challenging.
So there it is. We’re not sure where this is all going, but we love doing it. So if you think it’s kind of cool, we'd love to have you support us with a donation and follow the Tome Gnome’s adventures on Instagram
, and on our website
Thank you so much for your investment in us and in the Tucson community!