Today I Gave: 29 books to my local library. The idea came from the 29 Gifts website, where this month's giving theme is literacy.
For as much as we all like to read, finding 29 books in our home that were in almost-new condition was kind of tough. We're not big book buyers – most of our books come from the library, as hand-me-downs, or as gifts. The books we do buy tend to be books that either we've already read, and know we love, or from authors that we know we love. And so there isn't typically a big book turnover in our home. If we're going to purge our home of books, it's almost always children's books that my kids have outgrown. And those? I consign – for my own profit and for that much sought-after presale pass.
I parted with children's books that I would typically consign, and with quite a few of my own books that in normal circumstances I would hold on to. The thing is, I could buy most any book I really wanted, and so it was time to let them go. Let someone else who isn't in the same position enjoy a really good book.
What I Received: It felt really good to see that bin filled with books that my family has enjoyed. Elena and Eli came with me when I delivered the bin to the library, and they both wanted to choose a few of their books from the bin and give them to the librarian themselves.
Elena picked one particular book out the bin and started to put it in the donation box. Instead of letting it go, she stared at the cover and then clutched it to her chest.
"I really liked this book," she said. It was a thin paperback, questions and answers from Harry Potter's author, J.K. Rowling. She held it back out again, staring intently at the cover. I didn't say a word, just watched her.
"I bet there's another kid out there that would really like it, too. I've read it lots of times already." She hesitated for another moment, and then dropped it into the donation box.
It's hard to let things go sometimes, even the really small things. But it's hard to spread our joy around if we insist on keeping it all to ourselves.