PNG Books 4 PNG Schools – the feedback so far

Pleasure multiplied: the delight of sharing books


READ a good book lately? Want to share it with someone?

Written a good book lately? Want to spread it around?

Thought about giving it away so other people can enjoy reading it?

Passing books on gratis is a long standing and underrated tradition.

I’ve read thousands of books in my lifetime but my bookshelves only house a few hundred favourites.

Most of what I read nowadays, unless it’s spectacularly good, ends up in our local Red Cross opportunity shop, sometimes via a few odd relatives and friends.

I buy books there too, obviously donated by like-minded people.  The quality is quite amazing and they actually arrange the books in handy alphabetical order.

There was a craze a few years ago for leaving read books on park benches, in coffee shops or at other drop spots in the hope that deserving readers would pick them up.

I can think of numerous reasons why that idea eventually fizzled.

Books are meant to be spread around, despite what the stingy people who hoard them without ever looking at them again might think.

Which brings me to the point of this article.

As you are no doubt aware, the Simbu Writers’ Association is making great strides in promoting literature in the highlands province.  SWA is not only a writers’ union but an active promulgator of literature, especially through its schools program.

In modern jargon, SWA is proactive.

I’ve been sending the odd book up to Francis Nii: my own stuff and some by other writers.  It’s pretty hit-and-miss and some of the books disappear into the bottomless maw of the PNG postal system never to surface again.

However, Francis told me yesterday that a copy of Baka Bina’s new book, Man of Calibre, that I sent up had just arrived.  It took over a month but finally made it.

Just recently Michael Dom sent up 30 copies of his latest book of poetry, TheMusing of an Assistant Pig Keeper, which will go towards the awards that the SWA offers in its annual high school literary competition.

I’m taking liberties here but I reckon SWA might appreciate books from other people, especially PNG writers but also Australian writers and readers.

So if you’ve read or written a good book lately and want to pass it on to someone who will really appreciate it, why not put it in an envelope and post it to Kundiawa?  It will cost you less than $10 in a plain envelope.

Francis is at Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital and its address is: PO Box 346, Kundiawa, Simbu Province 461, Papua New Guinea.

I’m sure SWA and the kids will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

But make sure you wrap it in Gladwrap before putting it in the envelope.  The airlines in PNG have a nasty habit of leaving cargo out in the rain.

And send just one or two books at a time.  Bulk shipments cost too much, attract GST and custom’s duty and invariably get offloaded for months on end.

I’m not talking about rubbish that no one else wants but books with real meat worth reading, mit buk hia tasol!



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Francis Nii

The last Friday event, "Simbu for Literary Excellence", at Kondiu was eye catching when all the literary prices were accompanied with 30 books plus K3,000 was dished out to students.

SWA is promoting the circulation of books to individual heads within a short time span.

Francis Nii

Thanks Phil for this piece and also for The Floating Island, Man of Calibre and other books that you sent me. I have been enjoying reading them.

Unfortunately after my Inspector Metau was borrowed for good, I am quite reluctant to lend out any more of the gift books from friends like you. I keep them as souvenirs and only allow my children to read.

There is special pleasure in donating to others what one has written and SWA members are good at doing that not only by giving them out as prizes but freely donating to schools and friends.

And that's why unemployed like me don't have money to order copies of my new books.

SWA's long term plan is to establish a section in all the libraries in the high and secondary schools in Simbu which will be called SWA section.

That's where we will store all books supplied by SWA either written by SWA members or others. This is where all books supplied by friends within and abroad will be kept.

Thank you Phil for bringing this wonderful idea forward.

Phil Fitzpatrick

If you've still got the collection Daniel you can self-publish it using a free service like Createspace. That will get it onto Amazon for general worldwide sale.

They will also supply hardcopies at a wholesale price that you can sell yourself and recoup your cost.

I'm not sure but I think the impetus that SWA gained came largely from having its writers' books published.

If you're not sure about Createspace send the collection to me as a Word document with some ideas for a cover and I'll see if it is suitable for a Pukpuk Publications edition.

I'm at [email protected].

There must be some wonderful stories from Enga.

Daniel Ipan Kumbon

Phil, Simbu is a well organised province. Its top educated elites feel for their people. I have seen evidence of this on two or three occasions.

Once when the Simbu Agras provincial league team was lodged when Governor Ipatas went to make a donation. Simbu's cream of educated elites were there. They had bought tables.

No wonder the Simbu Writers Association is thriving. I started the Enga Writers Association a couple of years ago.

We didn't get anywhere. We couldn't even find a publisher who could publish our collection of short stories and poems. They are collecting dust here.

Yes, books are meant to be shared around. Four boxes of books including magazines like Readers Digest I accumulated over the years and donated to Kandep High School.

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