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Ostomy Memories of a Discovery


IN THE BACK OF MY CAR, I had three large bags of old clothing that I was taking to give to Goodwill.  They had a drop-off place not far away that happened to have a used bookstore attached to it.  Naturally, having dropped off the giveaway, I wandered in to look at the available books.  I soon spotted a book on my “to read” list:  ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens.  At first, I was taken aback by this discovery, that a book by perhaps the greatest novelist who ever lived should be forlornly stuck away upon a back shelf in a rather untraveled used bookstore run by Goodwill.  How sad it was, but how fortunate that I discovered it abandoned there and could rescue it from oblivion, much like the rescue of a lost cat or bringing home a desperately lonely dog from the local shelter.  The book was in good shape, notwithstanding its inexplicable travails, and I was overjoyed to be saving it from its anonymous fate and bringing it with me to a forever home.  It sits prominently now, just above my head at my desk, to be my next read in the new year.  At least for this particular miracle of a book, ‘the best of times.’  

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That was a lucky find. Heroism and tragedy, ruthlessness and compassion are all mixed up in that book. As well as the most famous opening and closing chapters. The recent tragic happenings in Ukraine indicate that the world has learned nothing from history. London has some very impressive bookstores. Hatchards in Piccadilly has four stories full of books old and new. It dates back to 1797! Knowing how you love books; you'd be lost for hours in there. Went there once and never again, all those books and the ambiance overwhelmed me. 

Reply to bowsprit

Yowie, Hatchards.  Just the thought of it makes me slightly dizzy with excitement.  


Several bookshops in our area have closed over recent years, but they have been replaced by an increase in the charity sops extending their range of second-hand books, so there is still plenty of choice. 
Very near us is our local bookstore, with all sorts of new and second-hand books. It is still called 'David's Bookstore', even though David sold it a few years back to the long-serving staff, who now run it as a cooperative. 

I spend hours browsing through their extensive second-hand section, where I sometimes find those 'gems' that I simply cannot resist taking home with me.  The last one was a selection of poems from Pam Aires which kept me amused for days afterwards.

 I once had a client who was a scholar and collector of books (among many other literary works).  He collected so many that it became a health hazard for him.
In trying to find a 'solution' to his problem, I helped set him up with his own market stall, where he could regularly sell some of his books each week.
Unfortunately, the scheme backfired, in that once the 'kind' people of our town found out that I was helping him with his market stall, they began offloading all their unwanted books, so that, at the end of the day,  we  ended up taking home many more books than we started out with.
There is a lot more to the story, but eventually and sadly, as with many of the people I worked with,  he died and the books went to David's Bookshop.

Best wishes

Reply to HenryM

There is another place that collects books which can also be somewhat intimidating to some: The New York City public library with its immense stone lions at the front, close to Times Square and a beautiful landmark. Its vastness and solitude compared to the street sounds outside is amazing. I found out that this affliction is called 'Library Anxiety' and it affects college students.

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