"The world is as many times new as there are children in our lives."
I LOVE books! And my 12 years of working in both a public and school library is testament to that. As much as I appreciate the advantages of technology I am not yet able to imagine curling up in bed with a piece of metal and glass (or whatever it is) and reading from it. But I never thought I'd be writing a Blog either. I am making no predictions.
For right now may I ask if you are like so many of us who have shelves or stacks of books cluttering our space? Books you may love but will never read again or even once. For me there are a couple dozen books that I could never part with, but little by little I am letting the others go. There are several ways to do this, depending on the particular book. Books beg to passed around and loved by many.
The senior center my parents visit to play Bingo keeps a small library so I pass some to my mother and when she's done she contributes them to the center. This is such a great option for seniors when books are too dear a luxury or they aren't able to get to the library as they once did. They seem to particularly like mysteries, romances, best-sellers, adventure and history.
I work at a school part-time and we keep a bookshelf in the faculty lounge that is stocked with hand-me-down books. It acts in the same way as the library in the senior center. It's help yourself, return it or pass it on and add to it with your cast offs. For the faculty shelves I give the trendier best sellers, philosophy, tech and more academic materials.
I'm getting ready for a big Yard Sale and all the rest of my "extra" books will go there for 25 to 50 cents. What's left over goes to a non-profit thrift store. Whew! Then my home will be free of books that are not a necessary part of my life and someone else can enjoy them. As I'm sorting through the piles I'm sure I will also discover a few borrowed books that are long past the time for returning.
One of the best things I have heard to do with books you have enjoyed and would like to pass on is to leave a book someplace where it's sure to be picked up and enjoyed by a stranger. Perhaps the bus stop by the library, on a table at a coffee shop or the waiting room at a doctor's office. You might want to place a little note inside saying, "READ ME...from an anonymous bibliophile". Wouldn't it be fun to receive a book that way. That little bit of serendipity would make my day, for sure.
I haven't actually left a book for a stranger in a special place but I must admit to the thought of a "Drive By Booking". By which I mean, late at night driving by a previous boyfriend's house and tossing a few of the self help books I invested in over the course of the relationship onto his lawn. Like I said just a thought....
For the most part, I visit the library, regularly choose off the shelf at school and remain open to books coming to me. It seems to never fail that when I am in need of a little comfort and/or growth a book somehow appears, whether it comes from the library, a gift or lent by a friend. At those times I am reminded of the saying; "When the student is ready the teacher arrives". Books have been some of my very best teachers.
It's a rare occasion that I actually buy a book and those are usually impulse Amazon buys, late at night for less than $5. While I was writing this the mail arrived and in it a book which was one of those late night purchases. It's title is; How People Change by Allen Wheelis. I had to stop and read the first chapter before returning to writing. I think one of my "teachers arrived".
You know how some people attract cats or dogs. I seem to attract young people and books into my life. Both kids and books seem to find their way to my home and when it's their time to move on, they make their way back out into the world. I like it that way. Enjoy them while I have them, respect them...don't bend their covers or mess up their insides and most of all let them know they were loved.