Book Talk: Betty Kime podcast

Betty Kime and her husband Norm have been volunteer librarians at their church for over 15 years.

Kime, who lives in Ridgefield, worked in the library at her high school and later in the library at Coulee Dam, but her love of libraries started when she was a preschooler. Every Saturday, she held her sister’s hand and walked to the public library. As the sister read out loud, her index finger traced the words on the page. Kime followed along and soon discovered that she had learned how to read.

Betty Kime, volunteer church librarian. Photo courtesy of Ken Doane.

“My favorite thing was to grab a sandwich and sit and read when I was a young girl. So I guess I’ve read all my life,” says Betty Kime.

Twenty years ago, when the Kimes moved to Clark County, they attended services at Vancouver’s First Presbyterian Church on Main Stree. The pastor made a house visit and encouraged them to participate in the life of the church.

“I’m not sure what I want to do here,” Kime told then-minister Leigh Taylor.

“You know, Betty, it will come to you eventually,” said Taylor.

A few months later, church librarian David Coleman made a plea for volunteers to assist him in the library. That tugged at Kime’s heart. She volunteered, then suddenly she was in charge. She quickly recruited her husband to help.

Norm Kime managed the technical side of their volunteer work, entering the inventory into a computer for the first time. Betty Kime managed the financial side, buying books with a $300 library budget, which dwindled to $100.

Back then, her husband convinced her to become Internet savvy. To log on, she chose an online name for herself, “Bolero,” added the number ten, and surfed her way into a book group. The group of women readers became a dedicated friendship circle that connected “every single day” and endures to this day.

The Internet-connected friends are scattered across the U.S. – New York, Alabama, Texas, Los Angeles – and Kime notes that at 82 she is the oldest member, the next oldest is 72,  and “the rest of them are in their fifties. Well, they were in their fifties.”

A podcast of our interview is at the top of this post.

Book Talk is new audio program from COUV.COM.
It’s a conversation about books and people who love them.

COUV.COM asks:

What was your favorite book as a child?