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A bookish bucket list

By Marissa Gillett | Jul 17, 2020

A bookish bucket list

One of the great things about working for OverDrive is the opportunities they give us to volunteer. In years past, team members have gotten to volunteer at animal shelters, metro parks, book banks, and many more amazing organizations. This year has admittedly looked a little different as we work from home, but OverDrive hasn’t let that barrier get in the way of giving back to the community.

Over the last month, team members have been “spring cleaning” their homes to gather donations for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland. After cleaning out every closet in the house and all of the long unopened boxes in our attic, I started going through my craft room, hoping to find some of my old tools that would brighten some young crafter’s day. While cleaning out my massive drawer of scrap wrapping paper, old pictures, and torn magazines, I came across a bucket list I made in my early 20’s.

It was pretty cool to see that without even realizing it, I had crossed quite a few of the items off, and realized that once the Digital Bookmobile is back out on the road, I will have the chance to cross off many more. Here are five of my bucket list items inspired by books or authors that I hope to cross off as I travel across the United States once our tour resumes:

  1. Tour the John Muir National Historic Site

    It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of our national parks. So, when I first started reading John Muir’s essays in college, he immediately became one of my favorite authors. The John Muir National Historic Site offers tours of Muir’s Victorian mansion and nature hikes around Mount Wanda Preserve, which was once part of Muir’s landholdings. The next time we visit libraries in the bay area, I’ll be sure to carve out a little time to explore my favorite author’s former home.

  2. Take my best friend to visit Emily Dickinson’s grave

    One of my love languages is giving gifts, and one gift I’ve always wanted to give is to surprise my best friend with a visit to her favorite poet’s grave. Honestly, calling Dickinson her favorite poet is an understatement, as she has a tattoo of her poem “Forever is Composed of Nows” in the works and she credits Dickinson’s work as part of the reason she became an English teacher. I’ll admit visiting a gravesite is a bit dark, but being able to accompany my best friend while she pays her respects to someone that had so much influence on her life would be truly unforgettable for us both.

  3. Have a beer at Fiction Brewing Company

    After a long day on the Digital Bookmobile, my favorite way to wind down is by enjoying a delicious craft beer. Since 2014, Fiction Brewing Company has been crafting liquid literature in the form of everything from crisp IPAs to mouth-puckering sours. Some of their beer has been inspired by works like Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid and The Devil’s Advocate by Andrew Neiderman. If that wasn’t enough to pique my interest, they also have a bar made out of books, and quotes from famous authors carved into their tables. Could there be a better atmosphere for enjoying a beer? In every city we stop, I always make sure to check out at least one local brewery, and the next time the Digital Bookmobile makes a stop in Denver, I hope I will be able to drop by Fiction Beer Company.

  4. Go fly fishing in Montana

    I grew up fishing along the Ohio River with my brother. While my younger sister balked at the idea of staying up until the early hours of the morning and sitting in silence waiting for the bobber to fall below the surface, I just couldn’t get enough. I hadn’t (and still haven’t) tried fly fishing, but after reading A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean, I hope I will some day get the chance. While the novella is first and foremost about Maclean’s relationship with his brother, it was the way he described his natural surroundings while fly fishing that convinced me I needed to experience it all myself.

  5. Watch the salmon migrate at the Renton Public Library

    This has been newly added to my bucket list, as I had never heard of Renton Public Library prior to working for OverDrive. When the Digital Bookmobile visited Seattle last November, I was able to watch the salmon migration during one of my many hikes in the area. It was easily one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. The next day I was talking about it with the library staff at an event, and they mentioned that they always go to the Renton Public Library to watch the salmon migration. They went on to explain that the library stretches 80 feet across the Cedar River and the library’s last renovation provides an excellent view of the river with its floor to ceiling windows. Visiting a library built over a river would be a unique experience alone, but watching the salmon migration from that very same building would be out of this world, so I can’t wait to return to the King County Library System in the future.