Every time I pass by a book left randomly on the street, I evaluate it quickly – is it lost? Meant to be picked up by another person? The fallout of an angry mind? I think that if you love books, you are always at least open to rescuing them.
So when my phone buzzed softly, I did not wait before picking it up to read the text message. I knew it would be Kelly, because the timing was perfect. She had just headed downstairs with the recycling. I knew she had found something of interest.
Her message appeared in a soft yellow box: “There are books down here including cookbooks.”
I dressed quickly, throwing on my Crocs still muddy from last weekend’s walk on the ocean floor, and headed down to the recycling area to see if there weren’t a few books that I could rescue. Kelly had already chosen a couple of books: Opposite the Tour Bus by Sophie Walker and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Sophie’s slender book of poems is signed, Cheryl’s popular novel is not.
I started digging through the books, and managed to find a few books of interest: William Burroughs’ The Soft Machine, Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Charles Bukowski’s The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain, and a signed copy of ReFresh, a cookbook by Ruth Tal. Kelly also found a book of Toronto art galleries, Art/TO 2015.
Oddly, there was also a digital camera in a bag of books. An older Canon, it had batteries that expired in March 2016, and a storage card with a few dozen photos from 2007. Amid the baby photos and London double-decker buses were some photographs of books. A strange collection of images indeed. We don’t know who it belongs to, but will keep the images on the card for a while, in case the owner realizes they made a mistake and puts up a notice asking if anyone has them.
But the books will remain ours, rescued as intended (just like the cat) and now part of our home.