A week ago my wife and I took a walk around the neighborhood and ran into some friends having a garage sale. At the edge of the sale was a stack of books that our friends encouraged us to “just take”. I can never pass by an offer like that, so I picked up a few that looked interesting and lent our friends “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman, because it is an amazing bit of storytelling and everyone should read it.
The whole interaction of finding books, talking about books and exchanging books put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. I was excited to read my new books and to hear what our friends thought of “The Graveyard Book”. Finding books in used bookstore and garage sales and discount bins has always been really engaging for me because I always imagine that I might find a hidden gem, a book that will enthrall me and that I will have to pass around when people ask me what they should be reading. Not that that happens often but in my imagination it does after I’ve found a great book.
Sharing books is exciting because we (or at least I) internalize the books we (I?) love to read. Sharing them is a way of sharing ourselves. It’s generous and selfish at the same time. Generous because we want others to enjoy a good story, selfish because we want people to love what we love.
Book I Think Everyone Over 18 Should Read: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Nonfiction Book I Quote Too Much To Annoy People: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Books I Re-Read Every Winter Because I Live In Western New York And From January To April It Looks Like What’s Beyond the Wall of Westeros: The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Book To Read On A Train: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Book To Read On A Plane: Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Book I Read Once And Always Think I Will Again…But Might Not: A Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez