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  • Writer's pictureShane

Free Reads Fayetteville

Updated: May 19, 2021

Hey folks!

I am stoked to announce Free Reads Fayetteville (#FreeReadsFay), a literary scavenger hunt through the streets of Fayetteville, NC on December 14, 2018. I thought I would take a few minutes to talk a little about how this works and where the idea originated. So join me on a quick trip through this exciting new event.

1. What is a literary scavenger hunt?

In our case, a literary scavenger hunt is a search for free books (FREE!) that have been hidden all over the city by the authors of those books. Books will be hidden in popular and well-known locations--think landmarks, statues, restaurants, etc. Clues to the books' whereabouts will be posted on social media using the hashtag #FreeReadsFay.

2. So, I found a book--what do I do now?

Congratulations! You found a free book! You can take it home and enjoy it, or you can pass it off to someone you know. We ask that you consider "claiming" the book via social media so that other hunters will know it's no longer available. To claim a book, take a picture of you with the book and post it to social media with the hashtag. Your book will also include a note from the author that will mention his/ her social media handles. Be sure to tag them in your post, too. They will want to know where their book is headed, and maybe you'll want to thank them for the cool gift.

3. What genres will be represented in this literary scavenger hunt?

Well, it's hard to tell what we will have once we go live on December 14, but so far, we have adult fiction, children's lit, and poetry represented. To see a live list of the authors participating, check out the event posting on Facebook, here.

4. Why are all of these authors giving away their books for free?

Since I first moved to Fayetteville four years ago, I have been blown away by the literary and arts community in the city. Fayetteville can sometimes be on the receiving end of some pretty rough PR, and I thought we needed to find a way to emphasize the positive things that are happening in the arts here. Authors tend to toil in solitude, and a literary scavenger hunt felt like a good way to get out in the community and raise awareness that there are writers here who are doing good work.

A secondary goal of this event is to get people out and exploring this city. There are a lot of cool things here, and I think sometimes people need to be reminded of that.

5. Where did this idea even come from?

While I was living in Atlanta, there was a similar event, but it was focused on the visual arts. Free Art Friday was a city-wide art hunt, and it was so much fun to go out looking for these little pieces of art that the city's artists hid for us to find. I've wanted to do something like that, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. Then, I heard about Emma Watson's program called "The Book Fairies" where people drop off free books for other people to find. Free Reads Fayetteville is a combination of those two ideas, and I'm really excited to see how it grows in this city. I hope it eventually includes the visual arts, too.


There you have it! If you're in the Fayetteville, NC area, I hope you'll be a part of #FreeReadsFay. The first drop is set to go off around noon on December 14, 2018, and the hunt will conclude that evening around 8:00 PM.


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