Don’t all mothers love when you can combine an afternoon activity that you and your kids can really enjoy together? And that is close by and free of charge?
Meet The Reading Stations at HaMoshava and Gonenim.
On the Park HaMesila (Train Track Park), which I talk about all time, close to both Emek Refaim Street (The German Colony) and Talpiyot you have replicated Jerusalem Bus Stations that are give-and-take book stops. Both residents and tourists alike regularly bring books and take books of all levels and languages. Mainly the books are in Hebrew, English and French but I have seen German, Italian and Russian.
Of course it depends on the day you go and your luck (I am still waiting to find a copy of George Orwell’s 1984), you can find amazing cookbooks, novels, and children’s books. I also found some really interesting old maps of Israel.
Ovadia, my three-year old, loves choosing his own books and many times he takes regular novels because he likes the pictures on the front page, but we usually manage to find him a book for his age in English or Hebrew. We regularly keep one or two books in the basket of our Moutain Buggy Duet in case of…well, emergencies.
If you plan enough in advance and you have books around your house that you are ready to move on from, just bring them with you and drop them off for the next lucky finder.
I love community give and takes like this one. It helps you declutter at home, find a new inspiring book, encourage reading to your kids, and relies on trust from the community to keep it running and organized.
In terms of inspiring books…we found the children’s book below “A Visit to the Doctor” back in January which led to Ovadia wanting to be a doctor for Purim, and we created him a little doctor kit of his own. He calls the book “Benny Ha Rofeh” which in Hebrew is…”Benny the Doctor”, the name of his pediatrician. Months later he still wants to read “Benny Ha Rofeh”.
I really recommend you to stop by one of the reading stations if you already live in Jerusalem, or are visiting. Especially the HaMoshava one near Emek Refaim (The German Colony) because it’s very close to the main street/public transportation and the choice of books is a bit bigger than the Gonenim one.
We live about a 20 minutes walk from each station, so they are both convenient for us to get to. With the weather permitting, it makes a nice afternoon to visit a station, find some books, bring along snacks and then sit along the grass or a playground near by.
*To get to the HaMoshava Reading Station, turn right on Masaryk Street next to the Burgers Bar on Emek Refaim Street and continue walking less then 5 minutes and you will be already there.
*To get to the Gonenim Reading Station, you need to get to the Park HaMesila near Rami Levi in Talpiyot, turn in the direction of Emek Refaim (The German Colony) and walk about 5 minutes in that direction. It’s very close to the new Gonenim Park.
*If you are in the mood for a leisurely walk (or bike ride) along the Park HaMesila, which is flat (very rare in hilly Jerusalem!) it will take you about 30 minutes by foot to get from the HaMoshava Reading Station to the Gonenim Reading Station. It’s a very beautiful walk and you will pass some great aromas of sage, rosemary, hadas (myrtle), and lavender along the way.
Happy Reading ..and walking