'They get so excited': Sask. Book Fairy hides over 160 books for people, kids to find

Jennifer Khampadith started as a book fairy after finding out about them on Instagram.

Jennifer Khampadith said she wanted to share her love of books with others

Jennifer Khampadith said each book needs to have a little ribbon on it to make it look like a little gift for people to pick up. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Jennifer Khampadith's book fairy efforts start with her handing books to her helpers and sending them out.

The four helpers quickly get to work. They find a good place for each book, snap a photograph, post it to Instagram, move away and wait. Within thirty minutes — sometimes less than five — the books are gone.

Khampadith is a volunteer with Book Fairies Worldwide, an international organization that hides books around the world for people to find and keep.

"I love reading books," Khampadith said. "Since I was a little kid, I was always reading books. So I wanted to share with the rest of the world."

(From left) Brooke Bentz, Jazmine Yeung, Josie Bentz, Jennifer Khampadith, Zoe Cunningham handed out 25 books by Canadian authors on Canada Day. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Khampadith said she was first introduced to Book Fairies by following Emma Watson on Instagram. She saw the celebrity hiding books for International Women's Day and wanted to take part.

She started in July 2017 and became the official Saskatchewan representative of Book Fairies a few months later. She's hidden an estimated 170 books in Regina.

Some of the books are donated. Khampadith buys the rest. She said she goes to garage sales or used book stores to find good books for low prices.

Jennifer Khampadith said finding the right hiding spot is a spur of the moment decision. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Khampadith said her favourite part is the reactions from people who find the books.

"They get so excited," she said.

Khampadith said one of her helpers — eight-year-old family friend Zoe Cunningham — is turning into a full-blown book fairy herself.

"My favourite part is seeing people pick them up," Cunningham said. "You can see people pick them up and start reading and some little kids may learn how to read with them so it could help."

Zoe Cunningham left a children's book by the Dino Bouncers on Canada Day. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

"I just like helping out people," said 15-year-old Brooke Bentz, another of Khampadith's helpers.

"Some people can't afford to buy books or anything and it just gives them the chance to kind of learn and read."

Khampadith said some parents have thanked her for getting their children into reading. She said she didn't think about how she might be getting kids into literacy.

"The kids are smiling and they're sending me pictures," Khampadith said.

"It just touches my heart."

With Files from CBC Saskatchewan's Morning Edition