I believe I've written here before about my philosophy on books, but I think it's worth revisiting for today's kindness. Some people delight in filling their homes with row upon row of books, cramming every square inch of shelving with pages and stories, ink and paper. I totally get these people, because I love having books on my shelves too. What I love even more, though, is sharing my books.
The way I see it, books are a vessel for something much more powerful. A book can hold a story or a new idea. Its contents can teach you about things you may never experience, and even change the way you look at the world. There is such power hidden inside books, but that power only means something if someone is flipping the pages.
Sentencing a book to a lonely life of playing dusty decor on the living room shelf is so heartbreaking to me that I regularly comb my bookcase for books to donate, lend out, or otherwise give away. Books that I read and re-read on a regular basis or that have great meaning to me stay put, and those that I enjoyed but will not likely choose to read again (there are so many new stories out there to tackle) are happily sent on their way to find a new home.
Today I was browsing around McNally Robinson when I happened to find a heavily discounted copy of a book containing a story that has stuck with me for years since I first read it - Room by Emma Donoghue. I saw the perfect opportunity to use the book for today's kindness, so I bought it, brought it home, registered it with BookCrossing.com, and left it on my seat at the coffee shop where I spent a chunk of this evening studying.
I hope whoever finds it will read it and pay it forward.