“A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation… A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold.”
― Henry Miller,
Do you remember those snazzy red telephone booths from back in the day? Well, that’s what I thought of, when I stumbled across the little red book box at our local park. It was drop dead gorgeous. Indeed, to be perfectly honest, I wanted to take it home with me…along with the book. Designed to withstand the weather, it houses an arm full of books. The concept is, that you take a book and leave a book. So, it operates as a free, community-minded, book exchange.
How good is that?!!
Well, I guess the system is only as good as it’s “clientelle”. Like those roadside food stalls with an honour box to leave your money, this system depends on trust. Integrity. Honesty. You need to be a giver and a taker.
Not a cheat and book thief like yours truly, who took a book without leaving one behind. Well, I didn’t have a book with me, and I do plan to drop one back. I truly do, even though I find it exceptionally hard to part with any of my books. Indeed, they might need a crow bar to pry the book out of me.
So, what was the book? It was Alexander McCall Smith’s: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. I have other books in the series, but not the first one. So, it was a good find.
Now, I just need to read it.
Looking at my book pile, that could be a problem…along with parting with a book.
Humph…no one said that it had to be one of MY books, did they? That definitely puts a different slant on it.
Do you have anything like this book exchange system where you live? It’s a great idea!
PS Just a little coincidence. I’m currently reading Markus Zusak’s: The Book Thief. Obviously, it’s led me astray.
PPS: It turns out that the little red book box in our local park, has “friends”. Known as “little free libraries, they’re the brainchildren of our local library. What a great idea. Sounds like I should be investing in a new trench coat to transport my book choices in appropriate attire. Wouldn’t that be great! Much better than a brown paper bag.