I belong to a volunteer organization that helps the public library. We pay dues, catalog thousands of books donated by members of the community, work at holiday book sales, and volunteer in the organization's book store. This organization is vital to the economic health of the library. Last year, the organization donated more than $50,000 to the library, proceeds from various sales and fundraising events. Yesterday I worked at our winter book sale. Thousands of books (and I'm not kidding) were displayed on long tables and the boxed extras beneath the tables. Despite bad weather, a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow, a surprising number of people came to the sale. We sold books for 50 cents each or five dollars a bag. Book-lovers of many ages -- toddlers, senior citizens, a man in a wheelchair -- came to the sale and hundreds of books went out the door.
Setting up for the sale takes days and boxing books at the end of the sale takes muscle. Leftover books are picked up by an oganization that sells them and gives some away. I helped to box hundreds of books that were to be donated to the local food bank. When I got home I was tired, but it was a good kind of tiredness. I enjoyed meeting people, helping parents find age-appropriate books, and helping out in other small ways. Book-lovers are a special breed and I'm one of them. We enjoy looking at books, touching them, inspecting the design, and looking for books about unusual topics.
I think a child can have too many toys, but never too many books. One of the best things you can do for a child is to foster reading. Whether books are printed or electronic, a love of books will help your child all through life. Intellectual curiosity will sustain your child as well. So I salute the world of books and book-lovers everywhere. We are in good company.