This weekend, I spent several delightful hours at The Book Thing, a free (!!!) bookstore in Baltimore.
Yes, the books are literally free. It’s magical. Nothing is alphabetized, which would drive some people crazy. For me, it adds to the serendipity of the place. I wandered the aisles, feeding Edgar graham crackers and watching out of the corner of my eye as he looked through a book about airplanes, and every once in a while, a book would catch my eye and I’d slide it off the shelf and into one of the five reusable shopping bags I’d brought. (The all-star customers showed up with shopping carts. GENIUS.)
My goal for this weekend’s trip was to stock our Little Free Library full of new books, and I was able to find a lot of my favorites at The Book Thing! It was amazing to browse and know that there was no limit whatsoever to how many books I could take. It felt similar to how I feel when I check out 20+ books from the library – like I’m splurging in a way that hurts neither my bank account nor my personal well-being. (Unlike the way I feel when I realize I’ve spent $100 at Target in 20 minutes, or when Amazon packages show up at my house and I can’t remember ordering anything. THAT feels gross.)
There were so many great titles there. I took about 60 books home! And I was amused by the frequency of certain titles. I saw at least five copies of Empire Falls by Richard Russo and The Kite Runner, both great books. Why so many copies? Why those books? It’s a mystery.
A friend of mine asked about the Little Free Library and my trip to The Book Thing, and I explained – I want to stock the library with my favorite books (I’m trying to only include titles that either I or Tamara have read and loved) so that they can be read and loved by others. Kind of like my own little literary public service project for my community. It is simultaneously pointless and purposeful. I love it. More Wild Peace Farm Library updates to come!