There is in Baltimore, Maryland, a unique shelter that was opened some years ago by Russell Wattenberg with the idea of giving a loving home to hundreds of books that are not wanted any more.
The way it works is simple: People take their books to The Book Thing (http://bookthing.org) and leave them there. Then, Russell and a group of book lovers classify them and put them in shelves, so that more people can go there and take the books that they want for free.
When I first went there, about ten years ago, Russell’s place was in a small place all filled with books. I found this idea absolutely amazing!
Some time later, he moved to a bigger place and ever since I’ve had the chance to visit this unique place several times. The last one, I remember myself carrying some novels in my arms, and while looking for some more titles, I started rocking my books, just like little kids being embraced by a proud parent. It was such a tender feeling, that’s remained in my mind, wishing there were much more places like this around the world!
One of the things that amazed me the most while reading is the way some authors create whole new worlds in which life occurs at a different pace. One author who often does that is Umberto Eco. The Italian writer has the outstanding ability to use words in a way that not only construct imaginary universes within real historical times, but also transport the readers into those places. That’s the case of The name of the rose, in which the story takes place in a medieval monastery; The island of the day before, that happens in the time when conquerors sailed in search for new lands; and Baudolino, a sweet story of a boy who sees things in his own way up to a point it’s difficult, even for himself, to know what’s true and what isn’t. Now, Umberto Eco has a new novel: The cementery of Prague. It was released in Europe by the end of last year and now I’m impatiently waiting to have it in my hands to see what new adventures the author has prepared for us.
Taking advantage of the past holidays, I had the chance to watch the movie Eat, Love, Pray, which is based on the book with the same title. Apart from the very beautiful sceneries that are shown in the movie what I liked the most of this story taken from the memoir written by Elizabeth Gilbert, is the idea of a human being getting in touch with herself, taking time to really know herself and to experience and enjoy much more the simple things that life has to offer such a delicious food, silences and friendship. As for myself, I like the idea of eating delicious food, loving a lot, and traveling even more. I’m also delighted with the suggestion of seeing the world with our eyes wide open and taking deep breaths as a way to connect ourselves with the world.
How many wonderful books are waiting for us this year? The classic ones, the new ones, I just can’t wait to continue this wonderful trip in which books are the means that take my mind away toward new places and new memories. I’ve also started this year taking the challenge of posting once a week during the whole year. I do wish I’ll do it just fine. The ideas are out there already filling my head with words to write- Let books guide my path.