While this blog is mostly dedicated to books I get from the library, I am often given books by friends, family and students. I also have a habit of picking up books at garage sales, flea markets, Goodwill, book sales, Chapters, Costco, Amazon…you get the point. So, as a side shoot of the Book Jacket Letters I’ve been writing for items from the library, I will write letters for any books that come into my possession via other means. And for those items, not only will I write a letter, but I will find a place to put both the letter and the book into the world, even though I find it incredibly embarrassing to do so.
For example, two weeks ago I had to go to Target (as much as anyone HAS to go to Target). Cloverdale Mall has a new Target, so I went there. There also happens to be a Tim Horton’s there that is usually pretty busy, so I thought it would be a great place to deposit my copy of Game of Thrones. I grabbed a coffee and sat down at a bench. In my head I kept saying, “Ok, after this person passes, I will leave the book.”
Eventually, I managed to put the book down and very slowly (like over minutes), I slid it across the bench until it was at the other end. And then I sat there for another 5 minutes saying, “Ok, after this person passes, I will stand up and walk away.” I finally managed to do that. And then it took me another few minutes to casually walk by and take a photo (very discreetly, I must say).
This week, I left Lullabies for Little Criminals at Spadina Station. Same process – although I was a little quicker about it because I had to get to work.
Why does it feel like I’m committing a crime every time I leave a book?
I know I’ll get over it – isn’t there some stat about how it takes 28 tries to make something feel normal? But so far, I still panic at the thought of putting down a book in a public space. Maybe I need a better space? Any suggestions?