Family Life

Family honours book-loving grandma in the cutest way

Andrew Crochunis was browsing for a new read at Browseabout Books in Delaware when he noticed there was an extra surprise in his novel of choice. 

It was a $5 bill with a note attached to it. It read: 

"Please accept this gift in loving memory of our grandmother who would take us to buy a book of our choosing every Christmas. She instilled in us a love of reading. Use this money towards a new book purchase. #omaluv."

Sharing the heart-felt note on social media, Crochunis says it was exactly the pick-me-up he needed that day. 

"My faith in the goodness of the world was low," he told TODAY. "And then that note fell into my hand and I saw a glimmer of light. Someone's grandmother understood the importance not only of learning and reading, but of giving that gift to others."

That someone's grandmother was Barabra Longova, or "oma" as she was affectionately know by her three grandchildren. 

She had retired to the beach town after raising her two children, and adored reading. 

"She loved everything about living at the beach," Nicole White, Longova's daughter, shared. "Browseabout Books was her favourite store and reading was her favourite activity…she loved to sit on her porch, drinking a glass of wine and reading a good book."

Each Christmas, Longova would take her grandchildren to the book shop and allow them to pick out their own readable Christmas presents ahead of time. 

"The kids could buy the books they wanted and then they would be wrapped and under the tree on Christmas morning," White remembered. "It was a tradition that her mum started with my brother and I when we were kids, and my kids just loved doing it with their Oma."

When Longova unexpectedly passed away in 2015, her children wanted to find a way of remembering her that included the beloved Christmas tradition. 

"We decided Oma would buy books for anyone that needed a little bit of money off the book they were choosing."


My aunt bought me Joyland for Christmas and found this in it! #omaluv

A post shared by Holland, 1945 (@last_day_of_magic) on

Lucy White, now 14, says that she always hides the notes in book that would have interested her grandmother.

"When I go to the bookstore I first look at the Stephen King books because those were her favourite." 

Oma's memory is not only fostering a love of books, but it's also encouraging people to pay it forward. According to the manager of the bookshop, most people who stumble across the notes hide them in another book. 

One things for certain, is that Oma is leaving behind a legacy of reading, learning and kindness. 

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