They come and they go. Last week when I got home after a long day, someone (no note to indicate who) had left eight boxes of books piled in my living room. My first reaction was dismay at having to schlep the boxes into the garage but I quickly smiled at such a bountiful gift. And the boxes contained such treasures: Ivan Doig’s Dancing at the Rascal Fair and an amazing children’s book, The Three Questions by Jon Murth. And yes, this is part of the business model of this particular traveling bookstore. Books come to me seemingly out of nowhere. And then I try to get them to the right people.
Sometimes there are transactions that supersede books. The man who traded homegrown organic garlic for a book. The woman who in exchange for a children’s book gave me a complete set of Mozart CDs . Regardless if it is books left on my doorstep or trades with non-book items, the books come and go. The bookstore stays stocked as it travels to the farmers market or a summer festival or just to open its doors in someone’s driveway for a small gathering. The amazement is that the cyclic nature continues and seemingly without too much effort. A box of books appear, I sort through them, put a few on the shelves and the next day someone picks up one of those very books and says, “This is exactly what I was looking for!” The garlic gets used in an Italian recipe for dinner guests. The CDs are taken along as an item to sell at the Yaak Music Festival.
There is a sense within all of this that reminds me of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s flow. Its effortless but full. Dare I say it requires right intention? Or really no intention but gratitude for the books (and garlic) that appear and the readers who discover the books they need.