Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2020 >Daily Dispatch #248

September 8, 2020: So many books, so little time

You think, as you start to sort, that it’s the same old same old. But it’s a good same old same old. Working in the trenches can be compared to rooting around in your winter drawer and finding last winter’s old, but matching mittens. It is what it is, and it will remain what it is – a now near predictable fit.

You started working alone, sorting through a pallet of boxes that came in some time ago. A local thrift store sent them over. The pallet contained a few dozen smaller cardboard boxes – they were all taped together so you had to open each and every one with a utility knife.

Opening dozen of cardboard boxes that cumulatively are no higher than your waist is a lot easier than dealing with one box that is chest high. This is because the former are accessible and the latter is inaccessible. Plus, opening the many boxes is like opening many presents – you don’t know what you’ll find.

Today, you found some treasures, the most exciting being a first edition of Robert Crumb’s Fritz the Cat. You suspected that this was a high dollar book and when you later checked it out on ebay, you discovered that you were right. Question is, do you really want to part company with this collector’s item?

A book that was headed to the pulp mill

You also found a very used copy of Walter Farley’s The Island Stallion’s Fury. Your coming across this book brought back a lot of memories – as a pre-teen you read all in the Black Stallion series, as did most girls your age. Now, thinking about it, it is just too bad that the heroines were boys and men. Imagine if they were young women. Reading these books may then have been life changing for some.

There were several boxes of raised letter paperbacks and hardbacks in the cardboard boxes. You sorted and categorized them – perhaps, you think, the homeless shelter patrons will want them.

You also spent some time in the bookstore, categorizing what was already there and what you were adding to the mix. If there weren’t so many books in the distribution area, waiting to be sorted, you’d work in the bookstore. In fact, this would be your preference. The quietude is nice. Plus, its fun, putting like books together and making marketable displays.

A few hours into it, and you were joined by your fellow sorter Bill S who began working on a differing pallet. Neither of you stopped and chatted. Rather, you two worked silently, in an attempt to put a dent in the seemingly growing supply of discarded books.

On Thursday you’ll be working upstairs, and putting the art books in like categories first, then in boxes. This will be prior to Saturday’s sale, which will take place during the recycling center art walk. If it’s a nice day, the books will be on display outside. If it’s a not so nice day, the books will be on display inside. Because of virus concerns, you would prefer to be outside. You won’t have a choice, so no matter.

So many books, so little time. This adage continues to hold true for you, who can’t seem to let go of this particular project.

Next: 249. 9/9/20: A Conversation with Ryder

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles