Grab your bags and a book at the Gander Airport Flybrary

Travelers passing through the Gander Airport can now pick up a free book while waiting for their flight, thanks to the Flybrary.

Library books find a home in airport departures area

Courtney Crocker, left, and Reg Wright hope the Gander Airport Flybrary can upgrade from a trolley to a shelf display. (Leigh Anne Power/CBC)

Travellers passing through Gander Airport can now dive into a free book while waiting for their flights to take off.

The airport has partnered with Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries to unveil a small "Flybrary" — a give-a-book, take-a-book trolley inside the airport's departures area.

The trolley has been stocked with books from the central Newfoundland division of the library. More than 100 were dropped off last week, but the trolley is already looking a bit bare.

"But that's OK! We'll bring some more titles," said Courtney Crocker, a regional librarian with the library board. "People are obviously really enjoying it."

"We worked with the staff at the airport, and, yeah, things kinda took off, if you will."

Crocker says there's something for everyone at the Gander Airport Flybrary, like thrillers, romance, and even children's books.

Crocker explained that the books given to the Flybrary stand were weeded from the library's collection, including discarded books or duplicates.

"Courtney volunteered to kind of curate the best of the rest that they had there," added Reg Wright, the CEO of the Gander airport authority. "They got some great titles. I think it works. It's simple to administer — everyone likes it."

There's no obligation to return the books after you've taken them — although Wright and Crocker hope you will, or donate another book that you think will fly.

"We're really excited about this, because this really gives the books a second life, and we're happy that people are reading," Crocker said.

Wright said the trolley is simple to use, and simple for the airport authority to manage. He said he got the idea to team up with the library board after seeing a display accepting donations for surplus books.

"Some of these are catalogued, and some of them are not," said Crocker. "We are putting them in alphabetical order as we come, because we are library staff and we love that stuff." 

Wright is hoping the Flybrary can eventually upgrade from a trolley to a wall display, if the public buys in.

"I think it's a very simple thing to do. It's a lot of fun for passengers. Travel is inherently stressful. What's better than a book?"

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from CBC Newfoundland Morning