I decided to part ways with more than 40 books from my personal book collection.

My decision was brought on from an overwhelming desire to make my bookcases a place that brought me joy, so as I stared at this daunting pile of unwanted books I planned to part with I started to question where they would go. Usually when I want to pass along my old books I sell them to a business called Half-Price Books. I get a fraction of what I spent on them in the first place, and I didn’t have the energy to make a special trip to Lexington to visit Half-Price.

Then, an idea struck me — we should have a newsroom book exchange.

I mentioned my unwanted books to my fellow reporters. They loved the idea. So I brought in all 40 of my unwanted books and within the day almost all the books were gone. Each and every book found a new home with people who would cherish them in ways I never would.

Soon I had another idea: Why not have bookshelves in the newsroom specifically for the same purpose? Every time I read a book I didn’t love, I could find it a new home.

The idea took off.

Katelyn Adkins from the copy desk brought in a stack of books. Crime reporter Carly Carver brought in two baskets of books. Heather Oliver from circulation brought in a bag full of books. Education reporter Mike James brought in a handful.

We somehow talked Mike and photographer Kevin Goldy into moving a bookcase into the newsroom. We now have a half-full bookcase of books that my co-workers are free to take and give a good home to.

As I filled the shelf with the leftover titles, I couldn’t help but have an overwhelming sense of pride that I’m working in a place surrounded by people who love books and appreciate the stories they tell.

So, co-worker Charles Romans was right when he half jokingly said, “Oh, Temecka is nesting.”

I love being surrounded by books and people who read and write for a living. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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