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Books, My Friends

A friend of mine, a fellow bibliophile, called me with an invite I couldn’t refuse. A friend of her neighbor’s was moving and couldn’t take all her books with her. She had carefully chosen the few she could take and were giving the remainder away, but only to people who would cherish and care for them as she had.
We arrived at a neatly kept Cape Cod style house and was greeted by a friendly woman. We followed her to the back of the house where I expected to find a few bookshelves or perhaps boxes of books. Far from it, my friend and I stood speechless staring at the floor to ceiling bookcases that covered every wall and framed all three windows. I lovingly ran my hands over the books on the shelf closest to me and thought there wouldn’t be enough time to peruse them all. The woman patted my arm and said, “Take your time, dear, and take as many as you want.”
I had brought only two totes with me and I actually hadn’t expected to use both – wishful thinking – that came true.
My friend and I got started, the woman returning now and again to see how we were doing. I couldn’t help but comment how hard it must be for her to part with the books. She smiled and told me that she would miss them, but that it was time to find them new homes so that they could give others the endless enjoyment they had given her.
Needless to say, the kind woman provided my friend and I with shopping bags since my two totes and her one weren’t near sufficient.
My choices varied from a book of stunning photos on white wolves, to a couple of books on tea (I love tea), to a classic or two, art history, a Seth book which I always wanted to read but never got around to, and of course several fiction titles, romances and mysteries seeming to have been her favorite.
We thanked her profusely and she insisted it gave her pleasure to see her books go to people who would cherish them as she had. On the ride home I thought how some people would think her crazy for giving them away rather than selling them. But I understood that to her, her books were her friends and friends aren’t sold – they are shared. And I’m ever so grateful she shared some of her dear friends with me.

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