The ruminations of an artist on art & quilts, beading, knitting, drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking are all my passions, I love to explore creating....

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Library Bookstore

One morning a week I volunteer at the local Friends of the Library Bookstore. People donate books, and the Friends of the Library sells them---the store is entirely run and staffed by volunteers---and provides the local library system with much needed funding for the library system's various programs, and scholarships for students studying to be future librarians.

Volunteering at this bookstore goes a long way toward satisfying my bibliophile addiction--plus it is always interesting and fun. I usually sort the books which have just arrived, and there is nothing like going through a dusty (sometimes musty) box of books and coming upon some lovely literary treasure. I try and try to come home empty handed--but so far I have not succeeded---seems I always come across something I want to read, or some geat book I want to add to my design library. Also, the other volunteers on my shift--all of them elders--are mostly very interesting characters who also love books and literature.

Today a women brought in 2 large boxes of books--one box was all fiction by American Black authors. I pulled out a nice hardback book by Alice Walker--and out of habit learned in many years of working in used bookstores--I opened it to the title page --and --yes!--it was signed by Alice Walker. Then, when I pointed this out to the woman donating the book--she decided to keep it! (oh well..) Most of the time when I check to see if a book just happens to be signed by a well known author--it usually is not....but you never know. Just like you never know if that next book you take out of a box will be a rare treasure---it is this possibility---the of chance that I will find a true rare and valuable book at the bottom of a box of mundane books that keeps the bibliophile within me pleased to paw through and sort box after box of books.

I volunteer at this bookstore not only because I love the books, but because as a child, those almost daily trips to the library to find another book to read saved my life--- reading library books expanded my world, entertained me (we had no TV), and fostered my imagination and creativity. I want children today to continue to have the opportunity to borrow library books.

"The library, I believe, is the last of our public institutions to which you can go without credentials... You don't even need the sticker on your windshield that you need to get into the public beach. All you need is the willingness to read."
-----Harry Golden

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