Angie Morris’ favourite badge adorning her beloved hat is inscribed with the passionate words “I read therefore I am”.
“This hat says everything about me,” the 73-year-old book lover said with a smile.
The Tanja resident, who reads five books a week, has created the community’s first book swap box, where residents can share their favourite reads with others.
“I heard of other places doing it and thought that it is something that will bring the community closer together,” she said.
“It encompasses a spirit of community, whereas to go to a library is a single, more personal thing.
“A library infers you have to return the book which you don’t have to do here.
“I’m looking forward to walking down to see if anyone has left anything I would like to read,” she said with a laugh.
The new box is one of many popping up across the region from Candelo to Bega.
“Everyone is interested, so we’re going to get all sorts of people sharing,” Ms Morris said.
Local resident Andrew Constable has manufactured the box out of a donated computer server from nearby Tanja Public School.
Ms Morris said she hopes text books and children’s books will be shared through the box with families who struggle to afford what is needed for their education.
She also hopes fresh local produce will also be shared via the box.
Fellow resident Linda Strom has read J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy 15 times.
“I can actually quote parts of the book,” she said with a laugh.
“I like the fact books inspire, and it’s really healthy escapism and can expand your vocabulary.
“A book can also make you feel like you’re on an inner journey. The book swap will connect us even more as a community, and I think Tanja is all about community.”
Ms Morris said anyone returning a book will be encouraged to rate it out of ten, encouraging more interaction within the community.
The concept has taken Ms Morris and her mother Marjory 12 months to complete.
The community will host an official launch of the book swap on Saturday at 3pm on the corner of Tathra-Bermagui Rd and Dr George Mountain Rd.