You know the world’s not quite done with you yet (or perhaps vice versa) when you find yourself still in disheveled office-girl garb, trying not to give drivers anything legitimate to honk at, as your beskirted self crouches on an urban sidewalk with a pail of chalk, scribbling out pleas and inducements to check out the sale at the bookstore you’re volunteering at. Is it strange for an exec-by-day to admit to the relaxing nature of clouding over hands and knees with multicolored dust as workers hustle past, occasionally stopping to wonder what sort of street art is being laid down before rushing off in disappointed recognition of an ad? Maybe. Within the space of a couple of hours, I colored on corners, shelved a lot of books, wrapped a dude’s purchase in metallic paper, and bought a little volume for myself.
And yup, I’m fully aware that the preceding anecdote has very little reason to be posted in this space– but I’d feel remiss if I didn’t somehow express my gratitude for 1) the fact that I can volunteer at a bookstore,* and 2) the weekly opportunity it provides me of getting out of my habitual state of navel-gazing. So, really, let’s just make a simplistic regression back to the source of joy and give three cheers for reading, and for the books that make so much of it possible.
* An independent one! Whose profits go to literacy and writing programs for public school kids! Who hosts author readings and signings and book clubs!