Currently there are two shopping bags and a small rucksack standing close to the front door at Bookwitch Towers. After much persuading, the Resident IT Consultant is at long last willing to part with many of his beloved computer books, and other ‘professional’ literature. I’ve spent years suggesting he doesn’t need them, that the books are out of date, we don’t have the room, and he’s half retired anyway. And that should he need something like that again, he can have the pleasure of buying one or two new books.
Our local Oxfam, which is a bookshop Oxfam, is having roadworks. This means you can’t simply load all the books into the car and drive there. Instead we have devised a packhorse system. Smaller numbers of these pretty heavy tomes will now travel in a rucksack on the back of the Resident IT Consultant, and in the two shopping bags, one in each hand, as he walks to Oxfam.
And then he will repeat this trip the next day, and the next day again.
The clear-out Daughter agreed to last week, has also produced a load to be walked there. By the time the Resident IT Consultant is done, he will be best friends with the Oxfam volunteers.
Yesterday he also drove a few boxes bound for Kenya, to the collection point at Grangemouth High School, where school librarian Anne is back from her summer holidays, eager to care for piles of book boxes. At least he didn’t have to walk all the way there.
I have another box of books, also in the hall – and we are so lucky to have a good sized hall – destined for the Grandmother’s former neighbours’ granddaughters. I quite like the idea of aiming good books at keen young readers, although I do feel the need to do a bit of gate-keeping when offering books to other people’s children.
A new box for picture books will have to be started, as we have just handed one over to the local Syrian refugee children. Aunt Ochiltree was talking about toys for them, and I instantly said they will need books, too. Here I also feel the need to gate-keep, and I just don’t know what it is I am looking for. How old are they, and what might offend their parents? If they don’t speak English, how does that affect what books they’ll enjoy?
(I did offer the Encyclopaedia Britannica to the hairdresser yesterday, but he felt he was well supplied with reference books that he didn’t read, anyway. It was worth a try…)