Students take home grand prizes with the UP Library #BookLovers competition!

Posted on March 09, 2020

During the month of February libraries nationwide celebrated #LibraryLoversMonth by installing exhibitions, dressing up, hosting events or running competitions to showcase the love between libraries and their users. This year, the Department of Library Services decided to collaborate with Protea Bookshop by running a social media competition during the month of love, asking students to tell us why they love books.

Protea Bookshop generously sponsored the following grand prizes:

  1. A R3 000.00 Protea voucher
  2. A ‘mystery goodie bag’ including speakers, headphones, a powerbank and other stationery
  3. A R500.00 Protea voucher plus a laptop bag

Students were given the opportunity to tell why they love books and enjoy reading by commenting on the UP Library Services Facebook page between 3 February – 29 February 2019. Some students acknowledged how much their textbooks help them to improve their overall knowledge and expand their minds, while others expressed how curling up with a good book made them feel at peace with the world for a moment in time. What a privilege it was reading through all of their comments – it made us want to drop everything and grab a book ourselves! But in the end, there were three comments (of over 200 entries) that won our hearts and took home Protea Bookshop’s grand prizes:

1st place: Suna Swanepoel

“Reading is about more than just the words inked onto the page. It's about the promising smell of new paper as you page through a new buy. It's about the smell of old dust and unfamiliar journeys of an old favourite. It's about the coffee stains drawing a pattern in the corner of the page. It's about the illegible notes scribbled into the margins by those before you. It's the ability to give an old hardback to someone you love, inviting them into your soul. 

Books allow you to travel across the globe from the comfort of your own bed. It gives you access into the brightest minds who ever lived. But most importantly, it allows you to read between the lines, to form your own opinion, to expand your mind beyond the last full stop on the last page.”

2nd place: Hlobisile Mavuso

“I love books because we are living in such a busy world. Every now and then we find ourselves living on edge, frustrated, drained, wanting to cry, sometimes too excited or too tired....But books allow us to escape that reality. We get to find ourselves sharing the laughter, learning new things which intrigued the writer into writing the books, we find ourselves not wanting to stop reading most of the time because we are aware of the fact that, the more we read, the more we get to improve ourselves. Growing up as a Zulu girl it's been a bit difficult to communicate with those around me, but the more I read, the more confident I become. Another special reason why I love books is because, I've noticed, what I read in one of my prescribed textbooks, I hardly forget it, unlike when I read slides that were written and summarised by someone else in a way that makes sense to them. Thus, I find that the best way I absorb information is through traditional paper-based books. 

I must confess, reading novels has become a habit for me...whenever I feel overwhelmed, I turn to my fictional book world where I can imagine, live, breathe, cry and laugh with the characters in my book. It's the best feeling ever, because as I do so, I get to be more and more equipped and my communication skills constantly improve. That's my love story for books.”

3rd place: Sphesihle Zulu

“I love books because they have the ability to make me laugh, cry, think, and empower me. But most importantly, books have the magical ability to transport you to a new world for a little while. You can be a farm girl who has fallen in love with a Duke, or a valiant spaceship captain conquering aliens, or a boy wizard who has the fate of the world on his shoulders. These are the stories that enrapture us and make us fall more and more in love with each turning page.”

Our #BookLovers winners! Pictured from left: Hlobisile Mavuso, Suna Swanepoel and Sphesihle Zulu

On Thursday 5 March 2020 we held a small prize-giving in the #Merensky2Library Auditorium where Protea Boekwinkel Hatfield’s branch manager, Eddington Esterhuizen announced the winners and handed their prizes over to them. The students were thrilled to say the least!

We are very much looking forward to collaborating with Protea Bookshop again in the coming months for more literacy-themed events. Watch this space!

- Author Kelly Liebenberg

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