Books are meant to be shared

A book lying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. Like money, books must be kept in constant circulation… A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold.

-Henry Miller

I was sitting in a local coffee shop when I came across this quote on goodreads and got to thinking how true it was.

Giving up books pains me; I like seeing them on my shelves; it turns my house into a home, so when I give them up, it’s like giving up a piece of me. But books do not make up me, nor should they only be mine. As a writer, I should (and do, somewhat reluctantly) know this best: books are meant to be shared.

The coffee shop in which I sat, The Golden Roast, has a book exchange; leave a book, take a book policy.

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They just started it, so it’s a wee little babe, but it’s a brilliant idea.

But this was not the first time I came across a book exchange. When I studied in Chambery, France, we were told about book exchange booths and went in search of them throughout the city. Though I can’t seem to find a picture of one at the moment, I did find this similar one from Britain:

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Though obviously it was a little less British looking. You know, no crown and such.

It’s so hard for me to get rid of books that I’ve actually never donated to one of these-a shame, really. It’s something I need to work on: sharing my books. So I vow now to make a system where I let people borrow them just like a library book. I’ll keep records and give them a reading period, sending out reminders when they don’t return on time. I know this may seem a bit over the top, but it’s the only realistic way I’ll ever really let a lot of people borrow my books. I let some people, but it can take forever to get them back, so my thought is if I have a system, it’ll improve. Well, that’s the engineer in me.

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(engineering picturetelephone booth picture)

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