Image shows a cartoon gnome in the desert


The Tome Gnome strives to bolster a culture and community that is united in the joy of reading by providing free books to inspire literacy, reading, and happiness. Right now, the Tome Gnome is focused on spreading bookish happiness and kindness throughout Tucson, Arizona.

Support the Tome Gnome!

Do you want to help support the Tome Gnome’s mission to share random acts of bookish kindness?

The Tucson Tome Gnome is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – and all donations to the gnome are tax deducible (EIN: 88-3343983). The easiest way to support our work is to donate online via PayPal:


Interested in donating another way? Send an email to tucsontomegnome@gmail.com, and we’ll happily work with you!

Hi! I’m the Tome Gnome!

Wowza! Hello! I’m the Tome Gnome (she/he/they) and I’m so excited to share my love of books with you. Every month I select a book and hide 45 copies of it all over Tucson for my friends and neighbors to find. If you find a book, please read it, enjoy it, and leave it somewhere fun for the next person to discover.

Don’t forget to snap a photo and share it with me on Instagram, or send an email to tucsontomegnome@gmail.com. I love to hear about the found tomes!

Curious to know what I’m up to? Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to get hints on future hidden tomes or enter an occasional social media giveaway!

I Love:

Long walks in the desert

Reading Tomes

Hiding & Sharing Tomes

Exploring Tucson

Meet the Tome Gnome’s Helpers!

Mary Ellen Flynn (she/her), Co-Founder and Board Secretary: Mary Ellen has had a varied career, including as a voice software instructor, an entrepreneur running a medical billing company, an Executive Assistant at the San Francisco Chronicle, and (most recently) as a Project Manager at the University of Arizona. She is the resident cookie baker and works to ensure the gnome is operationally sound as it grows as a project/initiative.

Jody Hardy (she/her), Co-Founder and Board Treasurer: Jody has dedicated her life to books and authors as a local bookseller and volunteer with the Tucson Festival of Books. Jody is currently the manager at Mostly Books and is an expert at helping people find their new favorite reads. She is also the resident book suggester, always knowing which books the Tome Gnome should consider hiding and sharing with the community. 

TJ Klune (he/him), Founding Board Member: TJ is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Lambda Literary Award-winning author of The House in the Cerulean Sea, The Extraordinaries, and more. Being queer himself, Klune believes it’s important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive queer representation in stories. TJ was an early supporter of the Tome Gnome, helping the project grow and evolve through 2022, 2023, and beyond! You can learn about the Gnome’s dream-come-true friendship with TJ here.

Emily Walsh (she/her), Co-Founder and Board President: Emily is a nonprofit operations professional, currently living her professional dream as the COO at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. She is also a volunteer with the Tucson Festival of Books and serves on the Development Council for the UA Poetry Center. Emily loves giving back to the community and growing Tucson as a bookish town. She is the resident strategist and social media/website manager for the gnome (figuring it out as she goes!). Emily was also the instigator behind bringing the Tome Gnome to life.

The Tome Gnome is a proud member of the following organizations!