I don’t have an MBA so I am not sure what the theory is among savvy business gurus on generosity and kindness but I will say these are a large part of the traveling bookstore’s story. First off there are all those folks who donate books to my business. A week doesn’t go by when there aren’t books left on my porch or piled inside my front door. Most times I don’t even know who dropped the books off. And then there are friends who come over to help sort books. Of all aspects of this business, sorting is what I like least and I know why. It is often a solitary task. There usually isn’t anyone to be amazed with when I discover a literary gem in a box or someone to laugh with about a cute note left in a donated book. Or anyone to confer with whether a particular book should be shelved under ‘the West’ or under ‘spiritual.’ So when friends come to help, it is a joy. Then there was Carol who packed up over three hundred books I wasn’t going to sell and drove them to Deer Lodge as a donation to the state prison. Diane let me set up in her drive-way in Libby on a Saturday to sell books. The generosity of people who help with the traveling bookstore is astounding.
The other day I began thinking how to advertise that the traveling bookstore was going to be in Portland over Labor Day weekend. I sent out some emails to Portland connections, asking if anyone could help get the info out on social media. Within an hour, I had an email from a friend of a friend. David Abel who owns Passages Bookstore in Portland wrote saying he would be pleased to advertise using his mailing list and Facebook page. Here is a fellow bookstore owner who doesn’t see me as competition but rather as a colleague trying to get books to people who love to read. Generosity. Kindness. St. Rita’s Amazing Traveling Bookstore truly benefits from these in so many ways and I am sincerely thankful.