I did something new today! I rearranged my schedule so I could volunteer at our local branch of the County of Los Angeles Public Library. I’ve been a member of the Friends of the Library for several years, but this is the first time I’ve been able to do more than pay a membership fee.
A dozen or more volunteers showed up to set up for this weekend’s used book sale. It was a lot of fun, really. We set up tables, labeled them with some broad categories, and started opening boxes of donations that have come in over the months. There were a couple of boxes that, if they came from one household, made me think I’d like the people who gave up these books. People criss-crossed the big room pondering categories and giving each other advise as to whether something was general fiction or a classic, etc.
When I saw that the non-fiction table was getting too full, I started organizing it into subcategories like military history, politics, science, film, etc. Some subcategories moved off to their own tables, like animal stories, biography and business. I also organized the cookbook section and had to keep myself from picking up some of the older titles, like a couple of vintage books issued by the Mushroom Council or on party foods.
Our reward was snacks and beverages, and a big order of pizza at noon. Also the opportunity to take a couple of books home. I didn’t go looking for trouble on the other tables. I brought home two books with a promise to myself that I can donate them next time around: The Name Above the Title by Frank Capra and 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Women’s History by Constance Jones.
I was so happily busy that I forgot to take a picture. This shot is of the books that Hydra donated. I added some more. It’s funny how unpacking his books and shepherding them to the science fiction table or elsewhere tugged at my heart. I almost sneaked Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell–a book about a man and his relationship with some Scottish otters–back home. I hadn’t seen it in years.
Really nice break in my work week. I’m looking forward to doing it again.