Books! My Committed Love Affair

San Fernando Library – Trinidad
(Creative Commons)

My introduction to books began at age 2. Mom read stories to me every day until I was able to read my own stories. Then, one day after my 6th birthday, mom got me all dressed up, we went outside and hailed a taxi. We drove for a long time, then got out in front of a big red building, Carnegie Free Library, San Fernando (Trinidad).

Inside, I had to look way up to see the top of the shelves as we walked between rows and rows of books of every size, shape and colour. I felt like jumping up and down as I was so happy to be surrounding by many books. But it was so quiet in the library that I just walked around with mom, until I found the books I liked.

I took a journey to see how books were made, and discover an amazing fact that stayed with me: earlier books before paper, would have been very heavy to carry in my school bag. Now, take a walk with me on that journey to form your own opinion.

What were books made from?

First Book

Clay Tablets were inscribed with triangle shapes in 3500 BC Mesopotamia; Papyrus Scroll was made from the papyrus plant, cut into thin strips, put together, glued and dried flat to produce scrolls in 3000 BC Egypt; Parchment was made from animal skin: goat, calf or sheep, the name came from the Greek city of Pergamum, in 500 BC, and imagine Wax Tablets were blocks of wood, coated with wax, then joined with cords to form a “Codex”, developed by Romans and Greeks in 200 BC.

There you have it! Which one would you have chosen to carry in your school bag (well, before backpacks?).

Surprisingly Paper making included cannabis, and was invented in China by Cai Lun, who used a combination of bark, hemp, mulberries, old rags and fish nets for the creation of a paper pulp in 105 AD.

When was the first book printed? In 868 AD in China, on blocks of wood with characters carved in reverse order, that technique was called “block printing.”

Chlorine had a big role in book development as it was used for bleaching paper by 1800.

Front Cover of my Nursing Book

Later many different styles of books were introduced to the world including Penguin paperback in 1935; microprocessor reader in 1971; books on CD in 1985; World Wide Web 1989; more recently online books, Google and E- books. For more information, go to


A book touches me deeply and brings me back to happy memories of mom reading to me. I get emotional and engrossed when I read a book, because books led me to where I am today. So, I wrote one to encourage people to become nurses.

Remember: pick up a book today at your favourite book store or library! Read every day.


Additional information is on my video:


Little Libraries in Hunt Club

Hunt Clubbites are readers!  As a way to share their reading materials, skilled and creative residents have built and erected ‘Free Little Libraries’ throughout our Hunt Club community. These are basically large boxes with a door that shuts tightly, mounted on a post. People place books that they have already read in the box. Others come and take one of the books, often replacing it with one or more of their own which they have already enjoyed reading. The idea is to promote and nurture a reading community.

Here are the three ‘Free Little Libraries’ that I have spotted in our Hunt Club community: 3 photos attached.

Can you locate all three of them? (Hint: two are in ‘Hunt Club Woods’; one is in the ‘Owl Park Neighbourhood’ east of McCarthy Rd.)

Where would YOU like to see another ‘Free Little Library’ installed in our community?


A Matthew Page Story

For Tyler, as for many, 2020 had not been a banner year.

His restaurant struggled to remain open, and the mounting bills on the kitchen table hinted that even if he managed to keep the lights on, it would be some time before his ledger wasn’t red.

A separation from his wife in the summer, partly the restaurant’s fault but mostly his own, meant that he would not see his girls on Christmas morning.

And now, COVID.

Tyler was in the midst of putting up his Christmas decorations when he felt his chest tighten. He retreated into his house to catch his breath but a few hours later he was in the emergency room. A month later, labeled a resolved case, Tyler still suffered from the effects of COVID, which left him tired, breathless, and weak.

His decorations remained unfinished and half hazard, including the beautiful conifer at the Bourbon Street entrance of Owl Park. While it was a city tree, Tyler took it upon himself to decorate it. It was his flagship. And now, with only days until Christmas, it was barren.

He kept it simple. Each year he would buy and hang new balls and garland on the tree, top it with a sparkling star, and light the tree with spotlights. With the decorations and a light dusting of snow, Tyler thought the tree was perfect. Neighbours and visitors to the park would often stop to comment and take pictures with Tyler’s tree.

2020 would take that from him too.

Tyler looked out on his naked tree, as a few snowflakes drifted past his window. From Mina Lane, Tyler noticed a figure approaching, bundled up and cradling something in their mitts. He watched, intrigued, as the figure approached his tree and carefully hung a homemade Santa Claus ornament on the highest branch they could reach. Once placed, they stepped back to admire their work; from his window, so did Tyler.

Caught up in the moment, Tyler didn’t immediately notice the others. From all directions, figures cut through the thickening flurry, each carrying an ornament to place on the tree. He saw some snowsuits and toques he recognized, and many he did not. After forty, Tyler lost count.

The figures slipped back into the snow storm and, as quietly as they came, they were gone. Tyler was left alone with his now decorated tree (well, at least the bottom two-thirds), his thoughts, and his tears.

For the first time, Tyler thought maybe 2021 would be better.