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June 22, 2021: You and the Bright Lights Book Project

You have not written anything in the second person for some time. This is because you were feeling down about how it was all going, so being more forthright seemed to you to be more fitting.

The second person again seems most fitting, for you now have more narrative leeway. It’s like having a dream in which you venture from one large room into the next, then into another.

Alys sorting

The Bright Lights Book Project continues to grow by leaps and bounds, which does your heart good.

Today you again went to the Senior Center Luncheon, and there you had a major revelation. This was that books are said to distance people from one another. And perhaps, when taken to an extreme, they do. You are a good example. There have been numerous times in which you chose to stay at home and read rather than go out and socialize. But at the same time, books connect people. You are also a good example of this.

In you walk, pulling Dolly Parton, piled three high with cardboard boxes. You move fast, too fast, and have to slow yourself down because most of those around you are moving slow. You move in an assured fashion, the Cat in the Hat hat on your head at a jaunty angle. They, you think, go well with your red sneakers.

You reach the far end of the room and begin putting books first on the library cart, then on the round dining table in front of the cart. Loretta, who is in charge of the gift shop and the library, she appears and you both chat for a bit. She assures you that all is well on the book front – no one has any objections to what you are doing.

As if to affirm this, a dozen or so senior citizens come over to the book area and begin selecting books. One fellow takes most of the Louis L'Amour books, and his buddy grabs a dictionary. You feel a pang of remorse when he does this, recalling all the dictionaries you threw away when you were a front-line sorter at VCRS.

You eat lunch with Lloyd, who tells you off hand that he’s just brought books in for the Senior Center Library. You though, are the one who ends up with Wendell Barry’s two book of essays, and poet Paul Maldoon’s poetry. You think, as he passes them on to you, that this is someone you want to stay in close touch with.

At the conclusion of the lunch hour, you and Loretta put the books on the table in boxes, and store them, along with a cart, in a supply closet. You find yourself wishing that you could go in every day at lunch time. After thinking about it for a few minutes more, you realize that you enjoy interacting with readers as much as you do providing them with books. This goes on limitedly at the distribution sites, but interaction is an integral part of the Senior Center Luncheon.

Who would have thunk it, that when this project began, that getting books into the hands of seniors would be an integral part of your day? Certainly not you, the book lady.

Next: 173. 6/ 2321: Bright Lights Book Project Field Trip

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