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January 10, 2020: The Bright Lights Shine On

This project now does have momentum. This morning I talked to my sister Eleanor in Portland, Oregon, and she said that she is considering doing what we are doing there. She’s thinking about her book source being the Goodwill Thrift Store. She has distribution places in mind. What this means is that this project, done anywhere, is a good idea.

So today I made some distribution calls – Ryan who works for the Alaska Workers Association said sure, they’d like some books. So on Monday, Pete and I are taking books there as well to the Stone Soup organization – they help children. We might also again take some books to Kaladi Brothers and put them in the Read on the Fly donation boxes.

 Alys getting into the box of books
Alys getting into the box of books

And today, in my absence, a man whose wife is a teacher, came into the recycling center and took a few boxes of kids books. Tomorrow he’ll be coming back for more. And, more books are heading out in the direction of Sutton Post Office.

And, tomorrow, the guys will be both clearing out a space adjacent to the shop floor and making it a combination distribution/sorting/shop area. And, it appears as though the upstairs area might end up having a small sales area. Pete, who is a long-time board member, seems to think this may come to be. I didn’t think that this was going to happen.

And, this evening, on the way home, Pete and I stopped at Fireside Book in Palmer and talked for a long, long time with Mary, the current owner. I had not talked with her before – in fact, I wish that I’d gotten in to see her sooner. Mary is a very warm and kind person, also very articulate and book savvy. I learned a lot about the book business in talking with her for just a short while. We are forming a partnership of sorts. I’ll supply her with books in good condition meant for sale, and she’ll provide me with books for the shredders. She’s the sort of person I’d like to get to know.

I have been going to work (if you want to call it that) most days with a plan in mind. Today was much the same. I thought I’d work upstairs, getting books ready to be distributed. But then I discovered that there were a multitude of books to be sorted, so I did that instead. This is ultimately going to make me a more flexible individual.

When people think books, they think of the lone reader, and see their eyes moving across the page, sometimes fast and sometime slow. I used to think this way. I now think of book readers as individuals connected to others. There is the shared story about the story the author wrote, as well the story about acquiring the book or books.

My story begins in a warehouse basement, where I came upon tall boxes containing hundreds and hundreds of used books . . . .

Next: 11. 1/11/20: Bright Lights Big City

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