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Sweet M gnolias author lunches with Friends of SCRL January 22 - page 5 / 8





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Never underestimate the value of a good book...or a good volunteer FOSCRL Board Secretary Dorothea Meldner is a happy reader

When Dorothea Meldner moved to the United States from Germany 25 years ago, she brought almost 700 books with her. She still has about half of them.

they are usually more open and forthcoming.

When did you find SCRL and how did you start volunteering there?

Dorothea Meldner’s husband Volker took this photo of her, featuring the smile that greets those who meet her.

“No unhappiness is so great that reading a good book is not able to cure it.”

So books are very important to you?

I was born into a family of readers and being an only child I discovered that books make great companions and friends. I tried to take as many friends (books) with me as possible.

What languages do you read in?

Today I read and write in three languages on a regular basis: German, Serbian and English. I learned German from my father and Serbian from my mother.

Do you think differently in other languages?

I don’t. When speaking in a language that I am fluent in, I also think in that same language.

What can you learn about another by conversing in her or his language?

I think people are more comfortable talking in their own language, so

My husband and I moved to Fort Myers in December of 2003. I joined the Friends of SCRL in 2004 and worked at the Friends book sales. Book Sales Manager Carolyn Piscitello asked me the following year to become Summer Book Sales Chair. I was elected to the Friends Board as Secretary in January 2007.

Have you done other volunteer work?

I was a volunteer and President of the Irving Center for Family Outreach in Texas. It helps families in distress and prevents child abuse and neglect.

Why do you always seem so happy?

A long time ago a friend gave me a collection of essays about happiness from a French writer and columnist who wrote under the name Alain. One sentence stayed with me, which said (loosely translated): “No unhappiness is so great that reading a good book is not able to cure it.”

FOSCRL Treasurer finds a treasure of books near her northern home

Castle Arkdaleon a farm in rural Markesan, Wisconsin—is a former 400,000-gallon manure storage tank, now part of an estimated 1 million- volume used bookstore spread over a dozen out buildings. It’s down the road a piece from the Ripon, Wisconsin summer home of Friends Treasurer Gretchen Schmidt. Without signs to direct them, people do find this odd book hunters’ paradise owned by Leonore and Lloyd Dickmann. Gretchen thought the book- loving members of FOSCRL would like to hear about it. With its knotty pine walls, quilts and rockers, this two-level castle shop strikes Gretchen as a comfortable space to browse and linger.

It’s odd and interesting enough to have been discovered by CBS’s Bill Geist and reported on the Sunday Morning television show.

Old, banned, rare, cheap and children’s books. Open by chance or appointment.

Friends to Friends

November 2008

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