sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 14, 2009

my d.c.: free books
posted by soe 10:28 pm

City dwellers know that one of the perks of urban living is the freebie sidewalk find. A lot of what you pass by is junk, but sometimes you come across real gems. For instance, I inherited my breadmaker after it didn’t sell at a tag sale and was left on the curb.

People move with frequency in the city, and inevitably there are things that just won’t fit into the moving van or that you decide you can live without. And dragging them to the sidewalk is a whole lot easier than taking them out to the Goodwill in the surburbs.

Sometimes what they leave behind are books. Yes, books.

Free book pile

Book piles in a city, reflect its character. Usually what you find abandoned on the sidewalk in D.C. are policy wonk books. Want to know how Jimmy Carter dealt with Thailand in 1977? You’re probably in luck; you’ll find such a tome on many a sidewalk around town.

But I am a book nut and have to check, regardless of how many times I’ve been disappointed in what people think I might want to pick up.

However, Sunday my luck changed. As we wandered to Adams Morgan Day, we took a far less direct route than we normally would have. The fates must have guided our feet because a row of books suddenly materialized in front of us.

Rudi and I glanced down — and realized we’d hit a jackpot.

The person who’d discarded their books?

A knitter.

We found so many books we had to run them back home before resuming our trip:

Our bookish haul

[Confidential to Sarah: Want the bottom book? I picked it up with you in mind…]

Category: books,dc life,knitting. There is/are 3 Comments.

I always leave a pile of books when I move. It’s easy to justify keeping them when they’re sitting innocently on a shelf, but once you start loading them in boxes– and you realize how big and heavy they are en masse– their value suddenly diminishes.

Plus it’s fun to imagine someone like you coming across them and taking a few home.

Comment by caroline 09.15.09 @ 4:32 pm

That is, by far, the best streetside book haul I have ever seen — though I am at a loss as to why anyone would part with so many knitting books. I’ll happily take the last one off your hands. You’re correct that it’s right up my alley.

Comment by Sarah 09.22.09 @ 10:39 am

@Caroline: I hope all your books have ended up with people who are delighted to inherit them. Personally, I have a nearly impossible time parting with books, although I am trying to get up the nerve to do it…

@Sarah: The bags book is yours. I thought she might have been getting rid of some of them because the patterns were aimed at teens, but I took away several that clearly didn’t fall into that category, as well…

Comment by soe 09.23.09 @ 2:06 am