Book donation a final wish

Alberni resident Laurel Herbert wanted her extensive book collection donated to charity after she died and her wish was honoured.

Community Arts Council volunteers Jan Duncan

Community Arts Council volunteers Jan Duncan

Laurel Herbert was a voracious reader. Her tastes ran the gamut from science fiction — Anne McCaffrey was a favourite author — to romance — think Nora Roberts — and everything in between.

When Herbert found an author she liked, she would collect every book that author wrote. When you consider McCaffrey wrote close to 100 books and Roberts’ total is 189 and counting, that’s an impressive collection.

Herbert, a Beaver Creek resident, housed her book collection in a bookcase one of her three brothers built for her.

Sadly, Herbert passed away at the age of 51 from an aggressive form of cancer in May 2011. Before she died, though, she asked that her books be donated to a charity so their sale would be of use to an organization.

Laurel’s mother, Jennifer Herbert, called the Rollin Art Centre last September and asked whether the Community Arts Council would like Laurel’s books to sell at the annual book sale.

On Tuesday, the Herberts delivered 75 boxes of hardcovers and paperbacks to the art centre.

“The board is thrilled that (Laurel) would choose to honour us like this,” book sale chairperson  Bonnie Brandner said. Herbert took good care of her books and many of them are like new; the sale doesn’t often see like-new books, Brandner said.

“This is a special donation, for sure.”

Though Jennifer Herbert first called the Rollin Art Centre last September, volunteers didn’t start sorting through book sale donations until January. Then the arts council wanted to wait until a good weather day when volunteers were available to accept Herbert’s books.

So far 400 boxes of books have been donated, including 75 of Herbert’s — almost a quarter of the total donations.

The book sale takes place this year on Saturday, May 12 at Echo Centre.

editor@albernivalleynews.com