Breathing in Books

I don’t think my boss realized what she was doing this morning when she asked me to take over a volunteer shift in the library we manage. She knows I love to read, but is she aware that I have had a life long affair with books? I love running my fingers against their spines, hearing their pages crinkle and seeing little creases on page corners that reveal the other bibliophiles that have caressed each one over the years. To be among them during my working hours, to me, that’s better than dessert at the end of a savory meal. This means that when my boss asked if I would mind taking over part of a shift for a volunteer who called in sick, I immediately agreed.

I got to check in books that came from other regional branches, sort and restock books that had been returned, accept some donations, and keep track of the patrons, and check out computers. While I realize that this is pretty simple work, there’s something about being in a room with all of these pages full of knowledge that inspires me. I think if I didn’t actually need an income, I wouldn’t work. I’d just read, all day, every day. This is the first time since I’ve moved to Washington that I don’t have a large queue at the library. Don’t fear, though. The reason I only have one book in my queue at the library(Goodnight Ipad) because I brought back 10 books from California last week. They have been added to a stack of purchased books from December, and between all of those, I’m not sure when I’ll actually make the transition to claiming books on my “to-read” list.

The first book I’m tackling from my “CA to WA” stack is C.S. Lewis’ Complete Works. I must confess that I have begun Mere Christianity several times and not made it further than 50 pages in. But this time around, I’m getting a lot more from the reading. This morning I read the short chapters “The Rival Conceptions of God” and “The Invasion”, and oddly enough, it was exactly what I needed at that moment. Those chapters gave me perspective and reminded me that this is a broken world and that I will struggle, especially when I am trying to do work that will make the world a better place. It’s not easy, but it is meaningful.

Serving the  poor: feeding the hungry, giving books to children and families, and warming the cold. Worthy causes, hm?