Books gasp for air on the rickety wire shelves and wail, bruised and busted-up like concrete-kissed knees, on the dusty tile floor. Some sprawl scattered and violated on plastic food carts, severed from the main body of books and forced to roommate with glazed duck statues and mystery electronics.
I cannot believe the classics people have thrown away.
After a few minutes of intent, book-by-book, shelf-by-shelf scouring, I pile pepperminty-smelling, greasy texts with brutalized bindings, pristine hardcovers without dust jackets, and glossy “acceptable” paperbacks along my forearm and mentally delete at least three books from my eternal Amazon Wishlist.
Today’s finds include
– Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
– Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
– One Writer’s Beginnings by Eudora Welty
– If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
– Confessions by St. Augustine
– One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
– Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke [… I actually found this one about two weeks ago, but it was the same Goodwill, so that counts, right?]
– For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway [also a previous find]
– Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld
– The Poems of Marianne Moore
– Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
– And finally… On Writing by Stephen King
(I urge you, kind readers: give your shelves a facelift and go rescue a book or two.)