People collect everything – from coins to cars; from autographs to action figures. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of adults collect something and according to a recent survey, more than 22 million Americans in 11 million households are actively involved in collecting at any given time. And just why do people collect? For the most part, because it's fun. Collecting can enrich one's life, broaden one's interests and fill one’s leisure time. Collecting also provides the thrill of the chase. And, in the case, of Ellie Levine's "movable book" collection, it's the satisfaction she gets from introducing what she loves to others.
Ellie has been a life member of Hebrew SeniorLife since 1969 and a current resident at NewBridge on the Charles. She first purchased a pop-up book 15 years ago. Today her collection contains 300 books. They range from books designed to teach small children the alphabet to those that highlight the intricacies of the Sistine Chapel. For Ellie, collecting is more than just acquiring – it's learning about the art form and appreciating its history. Pop-up books, says Ellie, have been around since the Middle Ages. The modern pop-up book first made its appearance in the 1940s. Today, most pop-up books are assembled by hand in Asian countries. Amazon, alone, carries more than 16,000 different titles! That means that everyone can own a pop-up book! According to Ellie, it's the beginning of a great adventure.
In early November, Ellie shared her collection with the Hebrew SeniorLife community in the first ever "Movable Book Festival." Over 500 visitors attended the two day event. Ellie's goal was to bring people together to discover something new. It turned out to be not only a celebration of an amazing collection, but a celebration of the community coming together and sharing a magical experience.
Ellie Levine was a remarkable person who lived at NewBridge on the Charles. We cherish the contributions she made to our community. Ellie passed away in April 2016.