Take a book, leave a book

I came home today with a stack of eight new books, all of which were free. I am quite pleased with my plunder. I have always loved free community libraries and book exchanges. They are a good place to get rid of books you don’t want anymore but an even better place to find new ones.

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There is something so lovely about knowing that just a few blocks from my house there is a little box that looks oddly like a bird house filled with books that I can take if I feel so inclined. There is infinite choice and room for many surprises. I wouldn’t have considered or chosen most of the books I grab and often don’t recognize the title or author all together. Novels can be really hit or miss but when they are free and pre-dogeared how can I resist. There is no risk. If I don’t like it I can just pass it along to the next person.

The other benefit is that I don’t look at these books as being mine. I have them but only for a brief while. They belonged to someone else before me and once I am done with them I will pass them along continuing the cycle. Books were meant to be out in the world being read and abused rather than sitting on my shelf looking impressive and lonely.

Not for a second do I see these books as a possession. They are something temporary afloat in a world of book exchanges where once you are done with it or bored with it you put it in another box on another lawn and somebody else restarts the cycle.

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