Like, cool donation, dude

So yesterday was the day after the first snowfall in my neighborhood, the coldest day so far this fall. And what do you suppose your Uncle Blogsy was doing?

Ten points for everyone who guessed I was standing outside catching snowflakes on my tongue. That’s not what I was doing, but I like your style.

No, pumpkin spice cannoli, I was unloading books out of people’s cars. Because that’s what cold weather does to my people. It makes them decide to donate books. (Hot weather affects them much the same way. If the wind chill is under 20 or over 90, it’s time to load up the old bookmobile.)

So that was 17 boxes of books on Asian history and culture, particularly heavy on the history and religion of India and China. Sutras to the left of us, sutras to the right of us: a little something to sutra any customer.

There were 12 boxes from a local church’s special library on aging, including an informational stand with videos and brochures on how to choose a nursing home, never out of the box, and a dozen different titles on how to have a happy old age. JUST the sort of thing I was looking for, or so people keep telling me. (I must remember to list hair dye for my next shopping list.)

Eight boxes of books on labor law: somebody told me to put these right next to the books in the geriatric collection. This puzzled me until I understood that they thought labor law had something to do with childbirth. It’s the result of the cold snap: snappy jokes.

We had somebody’s collection of movie soundtracks on CD, six boxes of cookbooks to go with the two dozen we took in last week, and a very nice collection of signed books. Not one of them is signed by anybody I heard of before, but that just means they’re rare, right? The four albums of old Chicago postcards may go up to the collection; they came from the same person who turned up that Jane Austen first edition a few years ago.

All things considered, I spent more time out on the dock yesterday than I have in weeks. Kind of a pity nobody donated suntan lotion.

What’s frightening about this was that none of it came from my major source of book donations in November: people cleaning house before the holidays. (You cannot have the relatives come to visit and figure out you don’t know how to work the Kindle they gave you last year.) No, these donations all came from spontaneous people who are generous, thoughtful, thrifty, and unable to read a thermometer.

No, there is no weather that is totally unsuitable for donating books, but I need to point out to you that Tuesday was very chilly, which makes it PARTLY unsuitable. If it had been chilly AND snowy, things would have been perfect. But, hey, it’s still early in the season.

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